At What Level Does A Carbon Monoxide Detector Go Off?

Do you care to know at what level does a carbon monoxide detector go off? If yes, then you are in the right place.

The answer is: Yes, the carbon monoxide detector goes off under continuous exposure of the gas at levels of 40 parts per million and above.

In this post, I will discuss carbon monoxide and critical things you need to know about the CO detector. Read to learn more!

Carbon Monoxide Levels That Can Set Your Detector Off

Carbon Monoxide Levels Detector’s Response Time
1. 40 PPM 10 hours.
2. 50 PPM 8 hours.
3. 70 PPM 1 – 4 hours.
4. 150 PPM 10 – 50 minutes.
5. 400 PPM 4 – 15 minutes

What Is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is not visible to the naked eyes. The gas is also colorless, odorless, and tasteless.

But guess what; CO (the same as carbon monoxide) is deadlier than anything you can imagine. And surprisingly, hundreds of people die as a result of this gas yearly.

But since the gas isn’t visible to the naked eyes, many people do not see it as a potential threat.

The thing is people are even more scared of things they can see, than the ones they can’t — for instance, fire. Many people will take action to prevent fire incidents.

And they may even prefer purchasing a fire extinguisher then the so-called carbon monoxide detector.

But don’t forget that carbon monoxide is a deadly gas.

How Is Carbon Monoxide Generated?

Carbon monoxide is generated from human activities. It circulates in homes most when the cooking appliance (fuel-burning device) in the kitchen isn’t functioning appropriately.

The fuel-burning device could be a stove, furnace, fireplace, or hot-water heater. So long as it uses fuel, it is capable of releasing this dangerous gas into the air.

However, CO (carbon monoxide) is generated as a result of the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. And one of the devices that use this fossil fuel includes cars, bikes, boats, and airplanes, among others.

So, when you leave your bike or car in the garage to continue working, it will likely release carbon monoxide into your room.

And this may trigger the carbon dioxide detector if you have one installed on your property already.

What Harm Can Carbon Monoxide Cause?

Hearing that carbon monoxide is dangerous isn’t enough. You also need to know the harm it can cause when exposed to the gas for an extended period.

Being exposed to carbon monoxide can cause you to experience a flu-like symptom that could take any form.

The flu-like system can cause you to feel dizzy, confused, headache, drowsy, and even nausea.

Does carbon monoxide poison affect kids?

The sad truth is that kids are more prone to CO poisoning than grown-ups. And there are cases where the parent might be doing fine while the kids may have been poisoned by the gas.

And the ugly side of the whole matter is that carbon dioxide poison can cause brain damage both in adults and children. Reports have also indicated that several people have lost their lives due to poison from this gas.

Do pets suffer carbon monoxide poison as humans do?

If you keep pets in your house, try to observe them for some time when your carbon monoxide detector goes off.

The thing is pets suffer carbon monoxide poisoning faster than humans. In other words, they will experience the poison in the same property faster than humans.

So, if you find that your pet is weak or unresponsive, try to move her to a place where there is fresh, uncontaminated air. She will regain her strength after some time.

But if exposed for long, carbon monoxide can cause severe damage to the brain, heart or death within a short time.

Symptom Of Carbon Monoxide Poison You Should Know

Being able to identify the signs of this deadly gas might turn out to be a lifesaver for you and members of your family.

So, without much ado, here are the signs that someone has been exposed to a high amount of this deadly gas called CO.

  • Chest pain.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Headache.
  • Fatigue.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea.
  • Confusion.
  • Low blood pressure.

Here is how carbon monoxide can affect an individual

We humans usually take in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.

But when exposed to a place filled with excess carbon monoxide, the CO gas will replace oxygen in the blood. And that’s where the problem starts.

However, the best thing to do when your carbon monoxide detector goes off is to move to a safe area. And the secure area in question should be a place with fresh air.

Now the thing is, not every CO alarm that goes off is a result of rising in carbon monoxide levels in the house. Other things can trigger the detector.

But you should not assume the reason yours got triggered isn’t because of excess carbon monoxide.

You need to move into a place where you can breathe in fresh air while carefully observing the situation.

Four Reasons Why Your Co Detector Probably Went Off

Your carbon monoxide detector is designed to go off in response to CO pollution in the air.

But keep in mind that numerous factors can trigger your detector’s alarm.

Here are the four possible reasons;

  • The detector is only doing its job and has detected carbon monoxide pollution in the air; that’s why it went off.
  • It’s a false alarm triggered by other household items.
  • The detector malfunctioned.
  • The battery is faulty or probably needs a replacement.

These are the four possible reasons your CO detector went off. Now, here is what you should do in any of the cases mentioned above.

What to do when your detector goes off because of CO pollution in the air?

The first thing that many individuals think about when a CO detector goes off is that there is carbon monoxide pollution in the air.

And even though you are not using your cooking apparatus (stove, furnace, water heater) at the moment, keep in mind that CO may be entering your house from the neighbors’.

At this point, you must act fast before the gas causes damage to your health, members of your family or pet.

Here’s what you should do when your detector goes off because of CO pollution

  • Check your appliances (central heating, stoves, fireplaces) if they are the cause of the problem. If any of them is on and not in use, turn it down immediately.
  • Keep your windows and doors wide open for fresh air to come into the house.
  • If you suspect that a particular appliance is the cause of the problem, hire a technician to fix it before using their device.
  • If any member of your family is displaying symptoms of carbon dioxide poisoning, call the fire department immediately but move the person far away from the affected area to get fresh air before the fire team arrives.
  • Ensure the property is carbon monoxide free before you go in, and ensure that the damaged appliance has been fixed and checked to prevent a reoccurrence of the same problem.
  • Educate members of your family on what to do whenever the alarm goes off. It will help avoid casualties, particularly when you are far away from home.
  • Inspect the carbon monoxide detector for any possible fault.
  • Carefully observe if the problem is coming from your neighbors’ house. You can ask them to check their appliances too.

What to do when your carbon monoxide detector goes off because of a false alarm

Your CO detector can be triggered due to any fuel-burning appliance in your house that’s in use. These include ovens, boilers, or even gas cookers.

Here’s something important that you need to know;

Your oven, boilers, and gas cookers produce CO gas, but in a smaller amount. But when ventilation is not adequate, or the venting is clogged by dust, CO might start building up. And that could trigger the CO alarm as the volume of the gas increases.

On the other hand, poor quality or cheap detectors can be triggered by a Hydrogen gas. Such alarms can also be triggered by a large volume of petroleum fumes too.

So, it is advisable to buy a good quality detector. Avoid cheap stand-alone carbon monoxide detector that goes off often even when there is no real threat.

What to do when your carbon monoxide detector beeps because of battery or it’s faulty

Electronic devices can’t last forever, so in their cells. So another cogent reason your detector is beeping could be the battery or that the equipment is faulty.

So, the best advice is to change the battery or fix the detector so that it can function to capacity.

How Often Should You Replace Your Carbon Monoxide Detector?

Depending on the brand, carbon monoxide should be replaced every five to ten years. But you don’t have to wait for yours to get to ten years before going for a replacement. The earlier, the better!

Every detector has a manufacturing date. So, check yours to know when it will be due for replacement.

Final Verdict

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that can cause real problems. It can damage the brain and also lead to death in severe cases.

So, it is advisable to install a CO detector on your property so that you can receive a notification whenever the carbon monoxide levels in your home increases.

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