boat where a generator was spewing exhaust
across the water surface; tenters have been
affected when camped in a depression where a
heater or generator ran on a windless night.
At high concentrations, CO can be fatal in
a matter of minutes. You may not get a warning; if you do, you may not recognize the signs.
For this reason, it’s important to have a CO
detector on every level in the home. Ideally you
should have one in every bedroom.
The new CO detectors
Smoke alarms can’t detect CO. Get a dedicated CO detector or a smoke detector with a
CO sensor. New in the marketplace are detectors that employ electrochemical technology
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that’s less prone to false alarms caused by temperature or humidity changes or from vapors
given off by common household cleaners. In
addition to audible or visual alarms for the
hearing or sight impaired, there are now units
that speak. With these, a voice command tells
you what the danger is, where it is and what to
do, such as “Get out!”
Lighted CO detectors now allow you to see
the reading in the dark. Digital displays are
updated every 15 seconds, so if you wake up
queasy or achy, a quick glance tells you if CO
could be the culprit.
An especially useful new feature records
the maximum CO level detected. No matter
what the CO level is later, it tells rescue personnel the maximum exposure victims were subjected to. Like smoke alarms and other sensors,
CO detectors can also report a reading to a company that will phone you or send help when they
see dangerous CO levels in your home.
When buying a new unit, look for the
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certification
for the unit and for its stated accuracy level.
As long as you burn carbon-based fuels,
CO will be a danger, but, thanks to improved
detection technology, your family can be
Janet Groene is an award-winning writer,
columnist and author of more than 25 books.
Reprinted with permission of Featurewell.com.
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