Most Albertans know that carbon monoxide detectors are just as important as smoke detectors. But while it’s obvious that smoke detectors protect your family against a fire, what is carbon monoxide? And what is a carbon monoxide detector protecting you from exactly?
Carbon Monoxide is a byproduct of a smoldering fire that doesn’t have enough oxygen to burn well. Carbon monoxide is very toxic to people, and a lethal concentration of this gas can easily be reached indoors. Like normal air, carbon monoxide is colourless, odorless, and tasteless. Without a detector, people don’t even realize they’re in danger. This has led to carbon monoxide being the leading cause of fatal poisonings in North America.
What Causes Carbon Monoxide?
While nothing in your home should create carbon monoxide when running normally (though both barbeques and vehicles do produce carbon monoxide and should never be running indoors), there are many things that can produce this gas when they begin to malfunction. Furnaces, ranges, hot water heaters, and gas and kerosene room heaters can all produce carbon monoxide when slightly broken. The dangerous news is that most of these appliances will appear to be functioning normally.
How Can You Protect Your Family?
Fortunately, protecting your family from carbon monoxide is simple. First, don’t use devices like your barbeque indoors under any circumstance. If you have an attached garage, try not to leave your car running. Otherwise, make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your house, and ensure that the detector is running well at least once a year. You’ll also want to have a plumbing and furnace specialist come and give your furnace, ranges, heaters, etc. a careful inspection annually. This annual maintenance should prevent malfunctions from ever occurring.
Carbon monoxide can be worrying. It’s undetectable without the help of technology, and poisoning from this dangerous gas is often lethal. But with careful foresight and the right tools, you can protect your family and friends from any harm. Purchase a carbon monoxide detector today, and if you need your furnace or hot water heater inspected, contact our expert Calgary plumbers at Plumbing Paramedics!