Carbon Monoxide Detectors

September 15, 2022

Is your carbon monoxide detector going off? If it is, it is a warning that there is a toxic level of carbon monoxide gas in your home or the area around you.

In this article, we will talk about why it could be going off. Additionally, we will tell you what you can do about it and discuss ways you can enlist a professional’s help in solving the problem.

What Are Carbon Monoxide Detectors?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can kill you in minutes if inhaled. Moreover, CO is the product of incomplete combustion and can come from natural gas heating appliances, fireplaces, generators, and stoves.

CO detectors are often mistakenly referred to as CO2 detectors. There are similarities between the two: For example, both contain hydrogen and carbon components and are odorless, colorless gasses . They are also dangerous in high concentrations; however, CO is by far the more dangerous of the two.

Why Is My Carbon Monoxide Detector Going Off?

Carbon Monoxide detectors can go off for a number of reasons.

For example, it can go off if a gas water heater has been shut off without being vented, or if there is a faulty flue on a gas appliance. Additionally, it may also be caused by an appliance that does not have gas and is running, such as a generator or oven.

Some major appliances that give off carbon monoxide include:

    • Gas and space heaters
    • Fireplaces
    • Furnaces, especially if improperly vented
    • Generators
    • Automobiles: if left running in enclosed garages
    • Gas stoves or ovens
    • Propane or oil-based heating systems

What To Do When Your Detector Goes Off

When your carbon monoxide detector goes off, you should act quickly to get out of the area. Immediately leave your home if possible and seek fresh air to reduce inhaling the deadly gas.

Once you are a safe distance away from the area, contact your local first responders so they can provide any medical attention to you or anyone else who may have been exposed to the gas. They will also make sure it is safe to return to your residence or area of exposure.

Even In Low Quantities, Carbon Monoxide Is Extremely Dangerous

When CO levels reach 500 parts per million (ppm), it will set off most available residential detectors within minutes. The UL 2034 standard mandates that a carbon monoxide detector going off does so at levels as low as 70 ppm within one to five hours. However, a CO detector will sound an alarm for higher concentrations within minutes!

Carbon monoxide causes severe health effects such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, and impaired mental function. More severe symptoms may occur after prolonged exposure to high concentrations including organ damage, hallucinations, and heart attacks. At high concentrations, the gas can cause fatality within minutes.

Now knowing how severe Carbon monoxide can be, you should not ignore a carbon monoxide detector going off!

Specifically, call a licensed professional as soon as possible to fix the leak and to avoid the adverse consequences of the poisonous gas. Here, at Show Plumbing, our licensed and equipped technicians can diagnose, repair, or replace the fittings or gas lines within your home. If you are in need of services for carbon monoxide, give us a call at (281)-860-2000.