If you need to find the PERFECT GIFT… get your loved one a carbon monoxide detector.
You’re kidding, right? That won’t win any points in the awesome department.
Carbon Monoxide Is a Serial Killer
Every year, accidental carbon monoxide poisoning sickens over 20,000 people, and kills over 400 people. It is cruel, silent, odorless and deadly. It shows no favorites- rich and poor alike become its victims.
How Does Carbon Monoxide Kill?
Warning: Sciency-geek stuff ahead: Carbon Monoxide (CO) is just about as small as a molecule can get- just 1 carbon atom and 1 oxygen atom. It is created by the incomplete burning of a fossil fuel (like wood, natural gas or propane). That incomplete burning is caused by a lack of oxygen. So an oxygen-deprived fire produces a byproduct, carbon monoxide, that ironically deprives the human body of oxygen. The body keeps breathing, but it is slowly deprived of oxygen.
How Can Carbon Monoxide Enter My Home?
Carbon monoxide can be a byproduct of your natural gas or propane heater, water heater, stove or portable space heater. It can also be produced by your portable generator (a major cause of CO poisonings every year in power outages). Even if you have no fossil fuel burning appliances in your home- your neighbor might. Carbon monoxide can enter your home by a neighbor’s nearby faulty appliance, or a friend parking in your driveway or garage and leaving their car running. No one is safe from the invisible reach of this deadly molecule. And don’t forget lawn mowers, chain saws and gas powered leaf blowers. All of these can be sources for carbon monoxide.
How Can I Tell If Someone Is Suffering From CO Poisoning?
You can tell if someone is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning by watching for these symptoms: shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, and a sense of sluggishness. If any of these symptoms are present, especially if combined with a headache- exit the home immediately and get the victim fresh air. If symptoms progress to vomiting, severe confusion or loss of consciousness, the victim is in serious danger. Call 911 immediately.
How Does a Carbon Monoxide Detector Work?
A carbon monoxide detector works by detecting CO as measured in Parts Per Million (PPM). Usually, even a low amount of carbon monoxide, such as 70 ppm, will trigger an alarm. The way it often works is that a small biomimetic gel sensor inside the CO detector will mimic your blood’s hemoglobin, and turn color just like your own blood would. A separate sensor can tell the color change, and triggers the alarm.
Should Everyone Have a Carbon Monoxide Detector?
Yes, and maybe several. Ideally, you should have a CO detector within 15 feet of every entrance to a bedroom in your home. In addition, you should have one on every level of your home. Carbon monoxide detectors are inexpensive, and they are now required by law in many homes in many states.
Check your carbon monoxide detectors today!