A carbon monoxide detector is a vital home safety device. In 2010, fire departments in the U.S. responded to more than 80,000 non-fire calls in which dangerous levels of carbon monoxide (CO) gas were confirmed inside the home. That’s more than twice the number of similar incidents reported back in 2003. Experts at the National Fire Protection Association say that the conspicuous increase of calls about the presence of deadly carbon monoxide is directly related to the increased number of CO detectors properly installed in most homes these days.
Known as the “silent killer,” carbon monoxide gas is odorless, tasteless and invisible. It’s a combustion byproduct, produced by furnaces, stoves, wood-burning fireplaces and other gas-fired appliances. At low levels, CO is toxic, but in slightly higher concentrations it rapidly becomes deadly. Here’s what to do to maintain the carbon monoxide detector that safeguards your family.
Change The Batteries
Every six months, install fresh batteries in a battery-operated CO detector.
Many carbon monoxide detectors today plug into an AC outlet as primary power source. However, most of these also incorporate a battery backup to maintain detector function should the AC power fail. These units will sound a chirping alarm to warn you that the backup batteries are weak. Replace batteries ASAP when the warning sounds. For optimum safety, install fresh backup batteries annually.
Test The Detector
Test the CO detector weekly. Never try to test the detector by exposing it to a known source of CO such as an open gas flame or by holding it near the exhaust pipe of a vehicle with the engine running. Instead, simply perform the manufacturer’s recommended testing method. In most cases, a “test” button is clearly visible on the front of the detector.
- Press the test button and hold it down until the alarm sounds.
- Release the button when you hear the alarm.
- Replace the detector without delay if it fails the test.
Contact the professionals at Davis Air Conditioning for more information about testing and maintaining the carbon monoxide detector in your home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Lawton and Duncan, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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