Carbon Monoxide (co detectors) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas produced whenever fuel is incompletely burned. It combines with hemoglobin in the red blood cells and robs them of their oxygen, leading to poisoning which can be fatal. CO poisoning can also cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue and memory loss. CO detectors can help prevent exposure to this toxic gas by detecting it in the air and alerting you to its presence. They are especially important if you use any type of portable fuel-powered equipment in an enclosed area such as a garage, shed or porch.
The Silent Killer: Why Every Home Needs a CO Detector
The cheapest type of CO detector is an electrochemical sensor that uses a pad with a coloured chemical that changes colour when it reacts with carbon monoxide. These detectors emit an audible alarm when the reaction is detected but do not indicate the concentration of carbon monoxide. These types of detectors are becoming obsolete as better, more reliable technology is available for a lower price.
The most popular type of CO detector is an electronic unit that combines a sensor with a digital display. They use a battery or AC power to operate and provide an audible alarm when the peak level of CO is reached. Most models have a test button which, when pressed, gives you four quick beeps to indicate the unit is functioning properly. Some units also have a “peak level” button that resets the memory of the highest concentration of CO reached over a period of time. Consult the unit’s User Guide for exact instructions on resetting this feature.