How safe is your home? I’m not trying to cause panic here, but around every corner there might be something lurking – and it’s something we can’t see or even smell. In the past several years I keep seeing articles about people who die in their home because of Carbon Monoxide (or CO). While it can be hard to stop a CO leak from happening, detecting it and protecting your family doesn’t have to be hard.
We all have smoke detectors in our rooms so we know if a fire breaks out, so why don’t we have Carbon Monoxide Detectors? While they seem similar, a Carbon Monoxide detector doesn’t detect smoke, but only the CO in the atmosphere when it gets to a deadly level. CO poisoning is the #1 cause of accidental poisoning in the nation, and it can be prevented by having something that alerts you in your home. First Alert sent us one of their 10 Year Battery Carbon Monoxide Detectors to use in our home and is giving one of our readers one as well.
Facts about CO Poisoning:
Diagnosis of CO poisoning can be difficult because symptoms mimic those of many other illnesses and include nausea, headaches, dizziness, weakness, chest pain and vomiting. In more severe poisoning cases, people may experience disorientation or unconsciousness, or suffer long-term neurological disabilities, cardiorespiratory failure or death. Regardless of a home’s age, people can be exposed to this poisonous gas, which originates from anything that burns fuel, such as gas furnaces, stoves, water heaters, barbeque grills, wood-burning fireplaces, generators and automobiles.
CO Risks and Fatalities
-CO poisoning is responsible for an average of 450 deaths and more than 20,000 emergency room visits in the U.S. each year. (American Medical Association)
-Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of CO exposure is in the home, and more than two-fifths (41 percent) occurs during the winter months of December, January and February. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
-Ninety percent of American homes do not meet the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) recommendation for number of CO alarms, including 40 percent that report having zero working carbon monoxide alarms. (First Alert “Get Alarmed” Survey, July 2010)
Avoiding CO Poisoning
-All fuel-burning (gas, oil and coal) devices should be serviced by a qualified technician every year. Generators, charcoal grills, camp stoves and other similar devices should only be used outdoors.
-Running vehicles inside an attached garage, even if the door is open, is hazardous, as CO can leak into the home.
-CO alarms should be installed outside each sleeping area (such as in a hallway outside the bedroom) and on every level of the home, including the basement. Battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in alarms with battery backup are preferred in case of power failure.
-Call 911 and leave the home immediately if the CO alarm sounds.
Many states require having a CO Detector in your home including: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia. Despite this long list of states that require them, most of us don’t have a CO Detector in our home. But installing one is easy and actually some don’t even require installation! The First Alert 10 Year battery Carbon Monoxide detector is designed to either be mounted on the wall where you want it or it can become part of your decor. They designed the CO Detector so it’s small and can be easily hung wherever you want it (and they provide the hardware as well).
Setting up the CO Monitor is easy as flipping the on switch and holding down the test button until you hear it alert. After that you just place the monitor and let it work. The battery lasts for 10 years, and you can test it whenever you want just by pushing the button on top.
The simple design of the exterior makes it fit into virtually every decor, but my favorite part is it tells you the temperature in the room. We already have a weather station that tells us the outside conditions, but to know how warm or cool it is inside is a nice feature.
Features in the new First Alert 10-Year Battery Carbon Monoxide Detector
- Comes with batteries that last the life of the alarm.
- Gives you an end of life warning telling you it’s time to take it down and put up a new one (it doesn’t get much easier than that).
- Has a digital readout letting you and first responders know what the highest level of carbon monoxide was.
- Tells you the temperature in the home.
First Alert is giving one of my readers their own 10 year Battery Carbon Monoxide Detector. Read how you can win one below!
How Can You Win?
Enter to win with the form below. What is your favorite feature of the CO Detector? or Do you currently have CO Detectors in your home? If you do not do this entry – you will not win! So make sure you leave a comment and then enter using the form below!