What will I see if I have carbon monoxide gas within in my home?

Gas combustion in an oxygen poor atmosphere can produce visible deposits which can discolour gas appliances and the walls surrounding them. A yellow pilot light is an indication of a problem in the gas combustion chamber which may be caused by a lack of oxygen through poor ventilation. The pilot light is a very good visual indicator of the state of health of your system. If you see a yellow flame this is your early warning that the boiler is not operating correctly and needs a maintenance visit with delay.

Can the general public purchase carbon monoxide monitor?

Accumulated exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to death and CO detectors can provide the inhabitants of a house with detection of the build-up of the gas. Carbon monoxide detectors have become more commonplace these days and there are many electronics shops from which you can purchase one of these either by visiting a shop or mail order and Internet. Carbon monoxide monitors set off an alarm based on an a gradual build-up of carbon monoxide in the locality. Smoke detectors were created before carbon monoxide alarms and the latter are gradually becoming as reliable as the former giving a great first front-line defence against carbon one oxide. You should ensure you have regular servicing of your appliances and treat your carbon monoxide detector as a secondary, backup measure. It is not your first line of defence.

A good detector will have these features

Preferred CO monitors should contain an audible alarm and be have British Standards certification. Key points for these alarms are a 5 year plus battery and the loud alarm alerting family members to the creeping growth of carbon monoxide to the need to get to fresh air. There are some lower price detectors available which indicate the presence of carbon monoxide by the change in colours that they display. These work by impregnating chemicals into a card, chemicals which change colour on the presence of carbon monoxide. Chemical CO monitors loose their effectiveness after 6 months and have to be changed, this increases the lifetime cost and puts you at risk if you forget to change the detector when it has expired. Carbon monoxide is no respecter of the clock and levels could build up through the night. For this reason we believe that the loud alarm on the electronic detectors can be a major advantage as it could wait you from sleep and signal that there is a problem in the house. Both types of monitors are now commonly available in DIY stores.

Carbon monoxide monitor fitting

If your home has a carbon monoxide detector which is operating correctly you will be getting advance warning of any buildup of this toxic substance in your home The levels at which carbon monoxide detectors activate are measured against the level of gas that would start to harm a healthy adult. As such you need to act quickly when children could have been exposed to the emissions as they can be harmed by lower levels of the gas. Whilst they sound similar aCarbon monoxide detector will have a different installation requirement from last that you may know of for a smoke detector. Most importantly there is no requirement for them to be installed at the top of a vertical wall or on a clear area of your ceiling. For maximum effectiveness during sleeping hours, carbon monoxide detectors of are best placed close to sleeping areas.

Check your carbon monoxide detectors frequently

As with all safety equipment a detector should be tested throughout the year to make sure that it is working effectively. Detectors should come with instructions detailing the steps to take to check the effective functioning of the detector. A detector should be checked at least once per month to confirm it is working properly, if it fails replace it with a new detector without delay. The ‘test’ feature on many detectors checks the functioning of the alarm and not the status of the detector. After 48 months (2 years) some detectors may be past their “sell by date” and require replacement. As this timescale will depend upon the specific monitored you have you should check how long your detector will operate when you first purchase it. Some models of detector have lifespans up to 5 years some are mains powered, others are battery powered. You should considering your requirements and select the model that meets your needs. Some of the latest home detectors are multi functional having both smoke detection in them and additionally possessing capabilities to detect carbon monoxide. You must look at the installation requirements for these multifunctional devices very carefully

Carbon Monoxide is known as one of the most hazardous home gases because it is thoroughly undetectable having no smell or taste. Bad ventilation to a boiler can create an environment which leads to the the production of this gas. Properly balanced ventilation will result in Carbon Dioxide output, Carbon Monoxide will result if the level of oxygen is restricted with reduced airflow or a blocked flue. With high standards of boiler servicing and strict ventilation regulations the number of people killed by Carbon Monoxide has reduced to 30 people each year although many more are seriously injured.

A list of the warning signs of carbon monoxide in the environment?

If you notice any of these symptoms and you have a gas appliance will then you need to consider whether carbon monoxide poisoning is involved: –
* regular incidences of headaches
* loss of balance
* fatigue
* sickness

A CORGI certified gas engineer should be brought in to inspect your gas boilers and appliances if you notice these symptoms in your family. Whilst waiting for the engineer to arrive you should take care to check that you have opened the windows and everyone has left the house.

One’s family be protected from the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning?

The earlier part of this article outlined that carbon monoxide is a result when there is more combustion of gas caused by a lack of oxygen. Gas boilers are carefully designed to be efficient burners of gas and you can reduce any possibility of carbon monoxide production by ensuring that your boiler has a thorough annual service. Of course you also need to ensure that the heating engineer servicing your boiler is doing a professional job, check that they are “gas safe” qualified as this is the industry body that certifies that plumbers and heating engineers operate to the correct standards. Carbon monoxide detectors, carrying a British Standard kite mark, are an important addition to a plan to protect your home against possible poisoning by CO gas. Air ventilation bricks and panels should be kept clear and checked throughout the year to make sure that the planned air flow is maintained to your gas appliances.

It is not uncommon for fast growing plants and vegetation to block a previously clear ventilation duct. This is easily avoided with a quick visual inspection in the late spring. And keep an eye on your chimney and make sure that it doesn’t become blocked with birds’ nests or other debris. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and CO alarms. If the CO detector alarm triggers make sure that your family members can recognise that it is the CO detector and not your smoke detector.


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