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Why Do You Need A Carbon Monoxide Detector?

Updated on February 3, 2013

I recently heard that over 7000 people a year in the United Kingdom die of carbon monoxide poisoning, yet they have no idea that they are slowly dying because carbon monoxide is a completely odorless and colorless gas. That creeps me out big time, and it should creep you out too. In the United States apparently 20000 people per year are hospitalized due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Remember, and I can't stress this enough, you never know when you are being poisoned by carbon monoxide because you never know when it is present, it is known as the "silent killer" as a result. In this article I tell you how to avoid serious illness and possible death.

What Is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide is, simply, a gas. It is produced by gas appliances and any other device which generates combustion fumes, such as devices which burn gas, petroleum products, wood, or other fuels. A human or any other animal is at serious risk when too much carbon monoxide accumulates in a poorly ventilated space. For example, a simple propane heater in a small room with a closed window could result in high levels of carbon monoxide. If there is too much carbon monoxide in a closed space then your body may find it very difficult to absorb oxygen, and this inability to intake enough oxygen can in turn lead to serious tissue damage.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The scary thing about carbon monoxide poisoning is that the symptoms are very subtle and not too dissimilar to the symptoms of many other common ailments. You may experience headaches, feel weak, get dizzy, and suffer from blurred vision and shortness of breath as well as confusion. As you can see, those symptoms can be applied to a ridiculously large number of other common problems, even just sitting at a computer too long can cause most of those symptoms simultaneously. There is never any reason for a sufferer to suspect that they have carbon monoxide poisoning and as a result they often find out at a hospital while very sick, sometimes they don't even make it to hospital as they pass out concision from the fumes and die quietly in their sleep.

How Can You Detect It?

Many people make the mistake of assuming that because they have a fire alarm they are protected against carbon monoxide, that simply isn't the case. The vast majority of fire alarms do not have the capability of identifying the presence of carbon monoxide. Instead, you need to purchase a carbon monoxide detector. This is the only way that you could possibly ever be alerted to the fact that your home or office has a seriously high level of carbon monoxide. You can't smell it, you can't taste it, you can't see it. In that sense, carbon monoxide is actually potentially more dangerous than fire. You can smell fire, you can see fire, you can sometimes even hear fire. The great news is that a carbon monoxide detector alarm is actually a very simple device, and therefore highly affordable. I have two in my home, one sits right next to my gas boiler in the utility room on the ground floor, and the other sits in my bedroom (because I wouldn't be able to hear the ground floor alarm from the bedroom). You can get a great detector alarm for a little over $20. A few fantastic carbon monoxide alarms are linked to below, you would be stupid not to buy one if you value your life and the life of your family and pets.

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    • watchreviews lm profile image
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      watchreviews lm 5 years ago

      @totally-home: And thanks for the comment!

    • profile image

      totally-home 5 years ago

      Thanks for this lens - it's vital that more people understand the dangers of CO poisoning!

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