Carbon Monoxide is a Serious Indoor Air Quality Concern
Carbon monoxide gas is part of an overall indoor air quality issue that can have the greatest impact in all homes during the coldest and the warmest months of the year. While we strive To keep your family protected from CO gas poisoning at all times, make sure that you test your carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.
The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that can’t be seen, smelled or tasted, and it’s most often produced by malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances, including furnaces, stoves and water heaters. Other potential sources of the gas include cars left idling in attached garages, outdoor appliances such as camp stoves being used inside, or motor-driven power equipment being used too close to open windows and doors.
Exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to flu-like symptoms that include nausea, dizziness, sleepiness, weakness, poor coordination and confusion. If exposure continues, unconsciousness or even death may occur. Installing a carbon monoxide alarm on each level of your home and outside each bedroom can help protect your family from harm, but you must test carbon monoxide alarmss often to make sure they’re working correctly.
How to Test Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Carbon monoxide alarms should become part of your home’s overall indoor air quality concern. Just as you depend on your HVAC system to function properly, your CO alarm testing should be put on a calender of chores (like changing your air filter) completed each month. CO alarms have a built-in test function that ensures the device is operating correctly. Consult the owner’s manual for your model and perform the test procedure, which usually includes the following steps:
- If your model is battery-operated or uses backup batteries, check the batteries for power and replace them if they’re over six months old.
- Locate the “test” button on the alarm case, usually towards the front of the device.
- Press the “test” button and hold it for several seconds, until a beeping noise is heard.
- If no noises are heard, replace the batteries or the entire unit.
- Consult the owner’s manual for information about the life span of the alarm and if it has reached its expiration date, replace it.