Cleveland HVAC Blog

If Your CO Alarm Goes Off, Do You Know What To Do?

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Mon, Oct 08, 2012 @ 01:42 PM

To help keep your family safe from unseen and unexpected dangers in your home, you should install one or more carbon monoxide (CO) detectors along with smoke alarms. If your CO alarm goes off, you'll know there might be potentially dangerous levels of CO in your home and that everyone should leave the area immediately.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, colorless gas that is generated as a by-product of combustion. It is extremely damaging to human health, and in the right circumstances, can be deadly.

Most deaths attributed to CO occur when people inhale it in their sleep.

carbon monoxide detector beepingAny appliance, vehicle, or piece of equipment that burns fuel can generate carbon monoxide. A malfunctioning gas stove or oven could produce dangerous levels of CO. During the winter, a fuel-based space heater or a furnace that burns propane, gas or fuel oil could do the same.

For best coverage and the greatest safety, local fire departments generally recommend placing a CO detector outside the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area, with at least one on each floor of your home. Do not install CO detectors above or beside fuel-burning appliances, since these devices can cause false alarms. Also avoid putting CO detectors in humid areas such as bathrooms and within 15 feet of stoves, ovens and other cooking equipment.

If your CO alarm goes off, it means the device has detected a potentially, harmful concentration of the gas inside your home.  False alarms can occur, but it is better to be safe rather than sorry.  As quickly as possible, you should:

  • Leave the area and go outside where you can get fresh air.
  • Make sure that everyone in the house has exited. Help children, the elderly or the disabled exit the building, if necessary.
  • Notify the local fire department or utility company about the leak.
  • Call your trusted local HVAC provider for professional help finding and stopping the leak.

P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling has been a reliable source of professional HVAC sales, maintenance and repair for customers in the Greater Cleveland area for more than 75 years. Contact us today for more information on what to do if your CO alarm goes off and for help in choosing a carbon monoxide detector for your home.

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Paul WadsworthPaul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.

The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.

Topics: carbon monoxide, carbon monoxide detectors, furnace

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