Carbon Monoxide detectors save lives!
We all know the benefits of hard wired smoke detectors and the lives they save each year but are you aware of the dangers associated with carbon monoxide? Every home using gas, oil, wood or any other type of fossil fuel in their home is in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is the result of incomplete combustion of burning any type of fossil fuel. The carbon monoxide produced is odorless and colorless. The CO molecules in the blood adhere better to the hemoglobin than oxygen does in the blood and is the reason death comes silently due to aspyhixiation. CO poisioning sneaks up on you, just to give some reference, a smoker consuming 2 packs per day has approximately 40ppm of CO in their blood at any given time. At 70ppm, the CO will cause headache, at 150ppm drowsiness and between 150ppm and 400ppm the dosage can be lethal causing death!
Here are some stats:
1. 15,200 people were treated for accidental CO exposure from 2001 to 2003
2. leading cause of gas fatalities in the United States
3. more deaths occur due to CO poisoning in December and January than any other month of the year
4. according to the Center for Disease Control, 408 deaths occur each year due to CO poisoning
5. CO is naturally identical to air, the molecular weight of air is 29g/molecule and CO is 28g/molecule
Many states are beginning to realize the importance of CO detectors and they are changing their building codes to require the installation of these detectors. At the present time in NYC, every renovation or new construction project will require combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to be installed within ten feet of each bedroom.
I would strongly suggest you contact your licensed electrician and let him/her install Carbon Monoxide detectors in your home.
NFPA 720 has been written to define the proper installation of carbon monoxide detectors in the home. A link to NFPA 720 is http://www.nfpa.org/catalog/product.asp?pid=72012&order%5Fsrc=B484
NFPA does allow combination smoke and CO detectors to be installed in the home, check local codes, manufacturer’s specifications and your AHJ for requirements pertaining to installation.
Be Smart and Be Safe install hardwired Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors in all Homes.