Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas

Carbon monoxide or CO is an odorless, invisible gas.  This is the reason CO is so deadly.  A victim can succumb without being aware of the presence of the gas.  A sleeping person could die while sleeping.

Symptoms of CO poisoning

According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Dull headache
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness

If sleeping or intoxicated, the victim is especially vulnerable. People may become disoriented, develop irreversible brain damage or even die before anyone realizes there is a problem.
The warning signs of CO poisoning may be subtle. But the condition is a life-threatening medical emergency. If you think you or someone you’re with may have carbon monoxide poisoning, immediately get the victim into fresh air and quickly seek medical care.

What causes carbon monoxide?

The incomplete burning of carbon-containing compounds generates carbon monoxide.  This occurs when there is not enough oxygen during combustion to produce carbon dioxide (CO2).  A stove or an internal combustion engine in an enclosed area can produce an accumulation of CO gas.
The most common sources of CO are motor vehicle exhaust from running automobiles or electric generators, smoke from fires and fumes from engines. Malfunctioning or obstructed engine exhaust systems are often a source. A blocked fireplace or wood-burning heater or stove can be a source.  Other sources include cigarette smoke, boat engines, charcoal grills, kerosene space heaters, gas water heaters, and smoke inhalation from burning wood or brush within wildfires.

Non-monitored detectors

A number of carbon monoxide detectors are available. Simple, un-monitored battery-powered detectors make a loud alert that can be heard by family members who happen to be within earshot from the detector. These devices cannot be monitored by a alarm monitoring facility.

Monitored detectors

Carbon monoxide detector

Monitored carbon monoxide detectors are designed to alert emergency response or notify you if you are away from home.  This type of detector is typically added to a security system offered by a professional security system installing company.

Monitored or non-monitored?

One concern is if residents return to a home filled with carbon monoxide. The detector may have sounded but the battery could be consumed by the time the residents return. Without monitoring, the carbon monoxide detector is rendered totally ineffective.

If using a non-monitored, battery powered detector, family members could be confused when awakened by an alert sound they seldom or never heard. Children may not know what to do. With a monitored system, monitoring personnel can call residents and give clear instructions – after alerting emergency responders.

Call Security Pro for more info

Do you want to learn more about carbon monoxide detectors and how they can protect your family?  Contact a Security Pro professional for free expert advice.