Carbon monoxide is the number one leading cause of death due to poisoning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 400 people in the U.S. die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning every year. An additional 20,000 people go to the E.R. and over 4,000 need hospitalization.
Why is it so hazardous? Carbon monoxide is referred to as a silent killer, since it is both colorless and odorless. It’s difficult to detect, however, early signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include the following symptoms: dizziness, nausea, headache, confusion and weakness.
Hardwired carbon monoxide detectors are professionally installed and they feed off of the electrical grid of the home. Since they do not run on batteries, the only time they will not work is when the electricity goes out (unless they come with a battery backup option).
Battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors are not hardwired. They operate using batteries. The beneficial part of this type of device is that they do not have to be professionally installed. The downside is that the batteries have to be replaced once they get low, so it is essential to keep up with them.
Dual-function detectors detect both carbon monoxide and smoke. This two-in-one option is a nice feature to have, so that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors do not have to be individually used throughout the home.
Digital carbon monoxide detectors feature a digital screen. The screen displays carbon monoxide levels; it is a nice visual component to a device.
Smart carbon monoxide alarms can be synced with a home automation system. That way, diagnostics can be monitored and carbon monoxide levels can be easily viewed. These devices feature the latest technology and go a step beyond standard carbon monoxide devices. This is a great option for those who want to really monitor gas levels throughout the home anywhere using their mobile devices.
The Nest Protect 2nd Generation Smart Smoke/Carbon Monoxide alarm is a dual detection device, which detects both smoke and carbon monoxide. It is also a smart device, which lets you monitor the sensor on your smartphone via a Wi-Fi connection.
This is another combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector. Though it’s not a smart device, it does have a voice alert, which states whether it detects smoke or carbon monoxide.
This carbon monoxide detector comes equipped with a 10-year lithium battery, so you don’t have to worry about changing the battery as frequently as those that operate using AA batteries. Though fairly simple in design, it does feature an advanced electrochemical sensor.
Unique to this sensor is the plug in feature, which fits in any standard electrical socket. It also includes a peak level button that displays the top carbon monoxide levels detected since the device was set.
To protect you and your family from the dangers of carbon monoxide, it’s crucial that you install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. These can detect the odorless, colorless gas and can give you enough warning to get out. Without one, the risks are too great, since there’s literally no warning that something is wrong. Carbon monoxide detectors work much like smoke detectors. In fact, some provide dual protection against both smoke and carbon monoxide.
Device placement is an important part in carbon monoxide prevention. When looking to place carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home, the best rule of thumb is to place at least one on each level. Place additional ones near any appliances that use fuel—those areas often include the kitchen, basement and garage. This will safeguard that the carbon monoxide detectors are operating to the fullest capacity.