Now that winter is here, many people across the country are turning on everything to keep them warm (including us Floridians, yes 50 degrees here means winter gear). With cold weather comes the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning can also happen year-round if you aren’t cautious.
More than 400 Americans die every year from unintentional CO poisoning. This can be prevented if each home installed a carbon monoxide detector. Many are easy to install and take a battery and plug right into an outlet in your wall. Having one is just as important as having a smoke detector. This inexpensive device can save your life from this odorless and colorless gas.
Where can carbon monoxide be found?
It’s found in fumes when you burn fuel in vehicles, generators, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. When these fumes build up indoors this can quickly poison humans and animals who breathe it.
What are the signs?
Many people don’t feel the effects until it’s too late. Which is why haveing a detector is so important. Most common symptoms are; headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.
Where to install?
These should be installed on each floor of your home for maximum protection. They get the best reading when placed 5 feet from the ground. If you have a gas stove or fireplace, they should be installed close by. It’s also recommended to place them near attached garages since cars produce CO any time they are running.
Where to buy?
These detectors can be found online (Amazon) and at stores such as Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, etc.
Two examples of detectors are below. The first one is from First Alert which runs around $35 and has a nice digital display. For those who prefer the more high-tech option, the Nest came out with a dual smoke and carbon monoxide detector for around $99. Make sure to do your research on which is best for you.
Read more on who’s at risk and how to prevent CO poisoning in your home at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention