Carbon Monoxide Detectors, Protecting the Family
Only days before our nation’s 235th birthday, brand spanking new California legislation went into effect requiring its residents to install carbon monoxide detectors in every California home. Fire officials tell us that carbon monoxide poisoning, “the silent killer,” is the cause for nearly 500 deaths in California annually, and the deadly gas causes more than 20,000 injuries each year nationwide.
California’s population equates to just a bit less than 14 percent of our nation’s 312 million residents. If we do the math, the answer gives us a nationwide carbon monoxide caused death toll of slightly under 5,000 men, women and children each and every year. Have we scared you yet? Just a reminder in case you didn’t already know it; carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced from heaters, fireplaces, furnaces and many types of appliances and cooking devices. The best way protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning is to install a carbon monoxide detector on every floor and outside each sleeping area.
Symptoms of CO2 poisoning are similar to those of the common cold – headache, nausea, dizziness, etc. How often have you heard someone say to a youngster, “You don’t have a fever – let’s see what you feel like in the morning?”
EDITOR’S NOTE: A recent study found that nearly nine out of 10 California households don’t have a carbon monoxide detector. That’s pretty amazing when you consider that a CO2 detector only costs between $19 and $55. If you have a one level home you could get away with two detectors. One for the main area (say family room-kitchen area) and a second in the bedroom hall centrally located between all of the bedroom doors. We get it. Bigger houses require the installation of more units.
California has performed some pretty awesome research and found that there is more to carbon monoxide poisoning than meets the eye. If we believe this research – and why shouldn’t we – then it makes perfectly good sense to take steps to protect ourselves. If our children were still infants there would be a unit inside the bedroom as well.
Where should you place CO2 detectors? The answer is the same as with smoke detectors – everywhere you can possibly afford to. Every room is a good answer. Oh, and don’t forget the garage.
We aren’t big on combination units. You know – a combination smoke/CO2detector. Our opinion here is simple. If one detector fails the whole enchilada has to be tossed and replaced. Martha Stewart would call this a bad thing.
Hard wired units are great, but battery operated models are equally efficient. If you don’t want the hassle of hard wiring (Electrician $12,000), and you hate changing batteries find yourself plug in models. How’s that for quick and easy.