How to choose the best Carbon Monoxide detector (CO detector)


About CO

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, non-irritant gas. The deadly effect of carbon monoxide was known as long ago as Greek and Roman times, when the gas was used for executions. Each year in Britain about 50 people die and 200 are severely injured by carbon monoxide poisoning. Some poisonings are self-harmed but most are accidental. According to one estimate, as many as 25,000 people in the UK have symptoms due to faulty gas appliances. In the 1960s and 1970s the conversion from coal gas to carbon-monoxide-free natural gas caused a dramatic reduction in poisoning.

Carbon monoxide (CO) has been called the “silent” and “invisible killer” because it’s a scentless, colorless, and tasteless toxic gas. It’s the number one cause of death due to poisoning in America. Any time you burn something—like gasoline, natural gas, wood, oil, propane, or charcoal—carbon monoxide is released into the air. In outdoor spaces, this usually isn’t a health hazard because there is enough area to dissipate and particles never amount to a toxic level. The danger comes when carbon monoxide is released in a contained area


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Carbon monoxide detector

The role of the Carbon monoxide detector (Carbon monoxide detector) is to detect the CO concentration in the surrounding. The Carbon monoxide detector act in the same manner as the smoke detector. The only difference is that while the smoke detector detects smoke, the Carbon monoxide detector detects CO in the surrounding.


Types of Carbon monoxide detector


This type of detector has other function built in, like the smoke detector


The digital CO detector have a digital screen to show you levels of carbon monoxide in your home.


Smart carbon monoxide alarms are the most advanced option available. They do their own diagnostics to make sure they’re working properly and sync with home automation apps so you can monitor your home from afar.


These carbon monoxide detectors are wired into your home’s electrical grid instead of using battery.


Battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors may or may not have a digital screen. You’ll need to check your batteries once every three months to ensure your detectors are working properly.


What to look out for before choosing a Carbon monoxide detector

Getting a good and reliable Carbon monoxide detector is very important, Kidde United Technologies  gives the key factors to look for when purchasing a CO alarm:

  • Electrochemical sensor: It is believed that an alarms with electrochemical sensors are more stable during humidity and temperature changes and resist reacting to common household chemicals that may cause false readings.
  • End-of-life warning: When the alarm life line is out, this facility alert you making you understand that it is time to replace the alarm
  • UL or CSA Listed: CO alarms should meet the strict third-party standards set by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA). A UL Listed or CSA Listed label should be printed on the product’s packaging. Kidde is the only major manufacturer whose CO alarms currently meet the strict standards set forth by both UL and CSA.

Other features to look out for are: 

  • Accuracy: Look for a statement on the package about the alarm’s accuracy level. If the CO alarm is UL Listed, then the accuracy statement will have been certified by UL, too.
  • Battery-Operated: Consumers who live in areas prone to power outages or who own a gas-powered generator should consider a battery-powered CO alarm with a backlit digital display. Battery-powered units offer 24-hour-a-day CO monitoring when power is interrupted. The backlit digital display allows the user to view the CO level in the dark. The alarm can also be placed on a shelf or wall or moved from room to room.
  • Digital Display: A digital display screen clearly shows the level of CO detected in the home, and updates the reading every 15 seconds.
  • Peak-Level Memory: This feature records the highest level of CO present. Knowing the CO level in the home can help emergency personnel determine treatment.
  • Plug-in with Battery Backup: Easy to plug into any electrical socket, these alarms include a 9V battery for protection during short-term power outages.
  • Voice Warning: This feature clearly announces the threat present in the home, in addition to emitting the traditional alarm beep. It is often a feature of combination smoke/CO alarms.

See the Pros and Cons of different CO detectors here


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