6 Reasons Why You Need a Carbon Monoxide Alarm and How to Test it

Did you know you may have a silent killer lurking in your home? Believe it or not, it might be there.

Carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous, so you’ve got to make sure it isn’t floating around in your home. Nobody wants it, but sometimes it gets in.

Luckily, action can be taken to prevent accidental harm caused by carbon monoxide. It can be as simple as installing an alarm.

There are many reasons to get a carbon monoxide alarm. Here are six reasons why you should get one and how to test it when you do.

1. Prevent Accidental Death

On average, nearly 400 people die of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in the U.S. every year. While that’s not a huge part of the country’s population, that’s still a lot of people, and you don’t want your loved ones among that number.

There are security systems that protect from more than just carbon monoxide. You can view them here.

2. There are Many Sources of Carbon Monoxide

One of the scary things about carbon monoxide is that it can come from several things that are housed in your home. Take a look at this list and see if any of these sound familiar:

  • Gas furnace
  • Stove
  • Generator
  • Space heater

These items are commonly found in homes, and this isn’t a comprehensive list. This is one reason why it’s essential to have a detector.

3. The Signs Could Be Mistaken

The signs of carbon monoxide exposure are symptoms commonly experienced due to other problems. This means you could have been exposed and not know it.

Have a headache? Most people wouldn’t automatically attribute that to carbon monoxide. But it is a symptom of exposure.

Other symptoms that could be easily mistaken for something else include nausea, dizziness, weakness, confusion, and feeling tired.

4. Smoke Isn’t the Only Danger

Many homes come with smoke detectors, and people generally know that they need them. Smoke isn’t the only danger homes can hold, though.

Smoke detectors are not the same as carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure you have both in order to keep you and your family safe.

5. There May Be No Symptoms

If the amount of carbon monoxide in your home is small, you may not have any symptoms at all. This means the harmful substance may be entering your body without you knowing.

Even small amounts of carbon monoxide can cause problems. For the best protection, go with low-level alarms. These alarms go off when small amounts of carbon monoxide are present.

If you have children or a pregnant woman in your home, always choose low-level alarms.

6. Protect Your Guests

When people come to your home, they assume they’re entering a safe place. Don’t let them down by failing to provide carbon monoxide protection.

As reported by many of the top luxury home blogs, the alarm(s) you place in your home don’t only protect you. They protect everyone who enters.

Not only that, but if you provide your home insurance company with documentation on your home being protected with top of the line smoke detectors and security, you may even be able to apply for a discount on your insurance.

How to Test Your Alarm

Whether your alarm is new or old, test it to make sure it works. This should be done regularly since electronics fail eventually.

If you have more than one alarm, make sure you check all of them. Make sure you always take any required safety precautions when testing your alarm.

Monthly Button Test

Your alarm likely came with a test button. This should be used once a month. By pressing the test button you’ll find out if the circuitry is functioning properly.

It also lets you know if the battery still has enough power to keep the alarm functioning. If the alarm doesn’t sound when you push the test button, change the battery.

Canned CO

Test your alarm once a year by spraying carbon monoxide near the alarm. You can get this in canned form.

To help the detector find the spray, use a plastic bag around the alarm and the spray when you perform this test. Spray the canned carbon monoxide for three seconds or longer.

If your alarm doesn’t sound within 15 minutes, it probably isn’t functioning correctly.

Other Ways to Avoid Poisoning

There are other measures you can take in addition to having a carbon monoxide alarm. These steps shouldn’t replace the alarm, but they are very helpful.

Replace your alarms when it’s time for them to be replaced. The manufacturer will indicate how long they’re supposed to last. If they’re still working, replace them anyway.

Have professionals make sure all your systems using gas are functioning properly. Make sure they do this every year.

If Your Alarm Goes Off

If your alarm goes off, remember that carbon monoxide is dangerous. Don’t take the time to figure out if it should have gone off or not. Instead, open windows to air out your home and head outside.

Call a professional and have them check for carbon monoxide in your home. Make sure it’s safe to enter before you go back inside.

While carbon monoxide is dangerous, there’s no need to panic if your alarm goes off. Simply leave your home and get the problem taken care of.

Get a Carbon Monoxide Alarm Today

No matter how you look at it, carbon monoxide is dangerous. Avoid the problems and tragedies it can cause by installing a carbon monoxide alarm today.

If you already have one in your home, make sure it’s working. And don’t forget to test it regularly. The more prevention you take, the safer your family will be.

Keeping your family safe is a full-time endeavor, so sometimes a little help goes a long way. Read up on how security cameras can add helpful protection to your home.


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