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**PSA - Carbon Monoxide Detectors **

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  • **PSA - Carbon Monoxide Detectors **

    Do you have them? Have you replaced the batteries recently? Today I got home from doing some errands and BOTH my detectors (the one in the basement and the one upstairs) were going off full-blast. I opened all the doors and windows and called 911, which promptly sent over the fire department. There were elevated levels throughout the house and basement. Fire department got the furnace guy out, who checked everything very thoroughly. He couldn't find anything but told us to call a chimney sweep this week. I suspect the carpet-cleaning truck which had been running in my driveway for an hour before I went out - I think the exhaust got sucked into the basement somehow.

    CHECK YOUR CO DETECTORS. THEY WORK. If you have tractors, snowblowers, or other machinery operating in/near your closed barn, MAKE SURE they are working.

    *And* - the firefighter said I need to replace them immediately, because once they are activated by actual CO, their sensitivity isn't as accurate anymore.
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

  • #2
    My understanding is that even if they are never triggered, that the CO2 detectors need to be replaced about every five years. Consult you instruction manual, or just replace them anyway. And I have also read that smoke detectors last a maximum of ten years.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      These detectors are five years old. The fireman checked the manufacture date. I feel like I should write to the company and thank them.
      I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

      Comment


      • #4
        Scary! I have no clue if we have Carbon Monoxide detectors in our home. I know we have a Radon gas one in our basement. Definitely something to look into though.
        http://www.youtube.com/user/NBChoice http://nbchoice.blogspot.com/
        The New Banner's Choice- 1994 ASB Mare
        Dennis The Menace Too- 1999 ASB Gelding
        Dreamacres Sublime- 2008 ASB Gelding

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          GO BUY THEM. $30 vs. death? An easy choice to make! You can't smell CO!
          I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

          Comment


          • #6
            We have one in the laundry room. Once a month we go room from room to test the rooms and test the units.

            I am glad yours worked for you.
            Chambermaid to....
            Lilly
            Reggie

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by NBChoice View Post
              Scary! I have no clue if we have Carbon Monoxide detectors in our home. I know we have a Radon gas one in our basement. Definitely something to look into though.
              If you have to wonder, you probably don't have one.

              Unlike smoke detectors, they are not very visible (since CO gas is heavier than air.....)

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Mine were both hung on the wall pretty close to the ceiling and went off just fine. Should they be placed closer to the floor?
                I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

                Comment


                • #9
                  Mine went off recently as well. Phoned the fire department, non-emergency line, and they said they would send someone to check the CO levels. I had just had my furnace serviced a couple of weeks before and the reading had been zero, so I was a little concerned.

                  They said to leave all the windows and door shut, so they could get a good reading. Must say, I quite surprised when a fire truck and three firemen in full gear showed up! I thought they would send out a guy in one of the little vans.

                  They checked the house and everything was fine. They put it down to the CO detector being 5 years old. I was actually going to replace it at the end of the month.

                  They should be placed close to the floor because it's better to have an earlier warning.

                  A family died, a few years ago, around here from CO poisoning. They didn't have any detectors and there was a huge campaign for people to get working CO detectors.

                  As an aside, the firemen were gorgeous! Like something off a movie set. Kind of wished I had combed my hair after getting in from the barn.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Hee hee. I didn't get particularly hot (HA) firemen. But they were professional and they got the furnace guy over post-haste. I went into auto-pilot mode about opening all the doors and windows when I saw the detectors going off. Plus I didn't know where the cat was and god forbid he was hiding somewhere getting gassed!
                    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Very good PSA. Thank you.
                      "Police officers are public servants. Not James Bond with a license to kill."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It killed my grandparents in 1982. He forgot to turn the car off in their basement garage.

                        If you have a LQ it needs one, too.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I did not know that they need to be replaced after 5 years so thank you for that education, I shall be replacing mine tomorrow!

                          Our cat actually alerted us to carbon monoxide a few years ago that was kicking back into our house from the furnace because we were doing an addition and they had built the new room for the staircase but didn't raise the furnace stack right away and the wind was blowing just right that it was being funneled back in. Was about 2 in the morning and our kitty was slamming his body into the door. Hubby got up to yell at him but was hit with the oil smell and knew what was going on. As he opened the windows that's when the detector started going off. Needless to say kitty got a nice fresh salmon dinner that night!

                          ETA and yes Guin they should be placed near the floor 1-2 feet above it.
                          The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There are little plug in units, and they are life savers. It takes a quick trip to the hardware store, and two seconds to plug them in on each level, and can save your life. And they are portable, if you are renting you just take them with you. Even if you have combined fire alarms/CO2 monitors, I would still get some plugins, because they will be near the floor and more sensitive to gas levels.
                            You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Come Shine View Post
                              They said to leave all the windows and door shut, so they could get a good reading.
                              This is very important for the Firefighters to be able to determine the source of the CO. If you open all the windows and doors the house will be ventilated and it will be difficult for them to locate the source. While waiting for them to arrive, you should wait OUTSIDE in an area of fresh air. If for whatever reason that is not possible (sick/elderly persons who cannot wait outside), go to one room that does not contain gas appliances (such as a bedroom), close the door to that room, then open a window in that room and wait by the window where you are exposed to fresh air.

                              If you have battery CO and/or smoke detectors (many plug in detectors have back up batteries for when the power goes off) change the batteries on both when you change the clocks in spring and fall.
                              At its finest, rider and horse are joined not by tack, but by trust. Each is totally reliant upon the other. Each is the selfless guardian of the other's very well-being.
                              (Author Unknown)

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My detectors went off once also and I was told that certain scented solvents, furniture paste waxes, etc., give off fumes that actually will set the detectors off. This is especially true if you're burning a fireplace or a gas/propane "fireplace" at the time. It happened to me with the Swiffer wet jet twice so I know now to unplug the detector before I use the Swiffer and let the room air out before re-plugging it.
                                It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Charging batteries (like car/boat/RV batteries) in the vicinity of the CO detector can activate it as well.
                                  At its finest, rider and horse are joined not by tack, but by trust. Each is totally reliant upon the other. Each is the selfless guardian of the other's very well-being.
                                  (Author Unknown)

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Guin View Post
                                    Mine were both hung on the wall pretty close to the ceiling and went off just fine. Should they be placed closer to the floor?
                                    Yes. Carbon monoxide is heavier than air. It will start "filling up" at the bottom/floor, then build up, unlike smoke which is lighter and will fill the ceiling then drop lower.

                                    It's a good idea to have one in a hall near any gas appliances, furnaces and water heaters. Smoke detectors should be in all bdms, halls, garage and laundryroom. Don't bother with a smoke detector in bathrooms,as the condensation will set them off.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Question: Is air lighter or heavier than carbon monoxide?

                                      Answer:
                                      Any real-world consideration must take in to account the moisture in the air.

                                      Assuming 50% relative humidity at about 70 degrees F, the molecular weight of air would be about 28.01 which is almost exactly the same as the molecular weight of CO.

                                      In trying to figure out whether CO will rise to the ceiling or settle to the floor, the relative temperatures of the CO / Air would have to be considered.

                                      Information from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation indicates:

                                      "Most manufacturers specify where you should locate their CO detector. In general, the best place to put the detector is where you will hear it while sleeping. CO is roughly the same weight as air and distributes evenly throughout a room, so a detector can be placed at any height in any location, as long as its alarm can be heard. Additional units could be installed in several other locations around the home, such as a child's bedroom; check the list below before installing.

                                      To avoid both damage to the unit and to reduce false alarms, do not install CO detectors:

                                      in unheated basements, attics or garages
                                      in areas of high humidity
                                      where they will be exposed to chemical solvents or cleaners, including hair spray, deodorant sprays, etc.
                                      near vents, flues or chimneys
                                      within 2 metres (6 ft.) of heating and cooking appliances
                                      near forced-or unforced-air ventilation openings
                                      within 2 metres (6 ft.) of corners or areas where natural air circulation is low
                                      where they can be damaged, such as an outlet in a high traffic area
                                      where directly exposed to the weather."

                                      Reference: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_air_lig...arbon_monoxide
                                      At its finest, rider and horse are joined not by tack, but by trust. Each is totally reliant upon the other. Each is the selfless guardian of the other's very well-being.
                                      (Author Unknown)

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Come Shine View Post
                                        Must say, I quite surprised when a fire truck and three firemen in full gear showed up! I thought they would send out a guy in one of the little vans.

                                        As an aside, the firemen were gorgeous! Like something off a movie set. Kind of wished I had combed my hair after getting in from the barn.
                                        The crew stays with the truck. That way if they get an emergency call they can leave, people and equipment together.

                                        Comment

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