What is Carbon Monoxide and why do I need a Carbon Monoxide Detector? Yes, Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and potentially dangerous gas produced when fuel burns without enough air for complete combustion. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include fatigue, headache, dizziness, nausea, coughing, irregular breathing, paleness and cherry red lips and ears. If symptoms are noticed, it is advised that you immediately open windows and doors to ventilate the home or structure, call 911 and get outside into fresh air. Later, have appliances checked carefully by a qualified heating contractor.
When doing a home inspecion I look for, and note whether there are Carbon Monoxide and smoke detectors in all applicable locations. Make sure you install a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home and within 10 feet of sleeping areas, in rooms over or near a garage, in the basement or other isolated area, and in rooms where space heaters are used. Detectors that have been verified by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and have been manufactured after October 1995 conform to minimum alarm requirements. Those marked UL 2034 or IAS 6-96 have met the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines. Follow the directions for installing and using the detector carefully.
To help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning: Your chimney and flue should be checked and cleaned every year. Have a qualified inspector check appliances and heating systems each year. Make sure all home appliances have adequate ventilation. Carbon Monoxide detectors should not be relied upon as a substitute maintaining appliances, furnaces or chimneys. The flames in appliances and heating systems burners should be blue, not orange. Never use a gas range as a space heater. Never run an automobile or gasoline engine in an enclosed space. Charcoal grills should never be used indoors indoors.