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What Do I Do if Your Carbon Monoxide Detector Goes Off?

The security of your home is the most important investment. Since it is necessary to take all precautions to maximally protect your home and you, we advise you to have alarms and detectors. This applies primarily to smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. However, the difference between smoke and CO is that carbon monoxide can occur without your knowledge.

Therefore, you need to be especially careful with that and do everything in your power to prepare if your detector goes off. The most important thing is to stay sober, react quickly and take the right steps. Keep reading and find out in the rest of the text how you can do that.

Source: Poison Control

Carbon monoxide

It is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. Although you cannot feel it immediately after some time of inhalation, it can cause serious consequences for your health. That is why it is known as a “silent killer” because it is not felt, and it is deadly in higher concentrations. A bad outcome occurs because it prevents the transfer of oxygen through the blood. This is exactly the reason why CO detectors exist, because a person cannot detect it on his own without the help of a specialized device. It can come in different amounts depending on the type of combustion.

Most things burn some fuel, and if it is installed incorrectly, problems occur. It is also found in radiators, chimneys, etc. Symptoms of poisoning are headache, weakness, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, etc. However, you can prevent its bad effect if you get a smoke detector, be ready for first aid and prevention.

Source: HealthEngine


It is up to you to do your best to avoid bad outcomes. That is why there are several key places in your home that must be equipped with this device. These are the bedroom, kitchen, hallway, living room, bathroom and garage. They should also never use a generator, grill or anything else that burns gasoline inside the home. Instead, use them outdoors and as far away from doors and windows as possible, etc. Opening doors, windows or using fans and similar devices will not prevent the spread of high concentrations of CO indoors. He may not be able to see or feel with the naked eye, but in a very short time he can totally incapacitate you.

After that, you need to call the emergency service and wait for help. However, sometimes it happens that the detector breaks down and that is why you can think that it is a false alarm. Do not ignore it or delay the escape action for a minute, it is a very dangerous gas.

Source: PBC Today

False alarm

Although you should not ignore the sound of it, it is important to be aware of some facts related to false alerts. So, there are situations in which alarm can detect the presence of CO in your home even though there is no danger. This refers to recognizing gas that did not come from your devices but leaked through walls, and comes from neighbors. In that case, it is good to know if your neighbors have devices for burning fuel. It can also go through the chimney and enter your premises. On the other hand, the problem may be of a technical nature. For example, you forgot to change batteries after a certain deadline. So it would be good to buy one from a manufacturer like X-Sense whose carbon monoxide detector has a battery that will last for 10 years. Then it is unlikely that this can happen to you.

Too much moisture in the bathroom can also be a problem that will cause the detector to react. Keep in mind that you should never have CO detector near steam. There is another thing that can trigger an alarm and that is screed. It can often be advertised even when it is not installed in a good place, and that refers to caravans, tents, boats, etc. If you are an avid smoker, ventilate the rooms, as it can be triggered by too much smoke.

Source: Family Living Today

Steps to take when the alarm goes off:

1. Get out

Leave the room in which you are staying immediately, and that applies to the whole house or apartment, and not just one room. So, this is the most important step that will surely save you from bad consequences. However, if you cannot leave the building, it is best to open the windows and stand next to them. Remember that time is your greatest enemy and that every minute is very important. The longer you stay in these conditions, the more you get poisoned and the closer you are to the serious consequences. Pets usually have a lower tolerance threshold than humans and they are the first to react to CO.

Also, don’t forget that people react differently in many situations, and this one is no exception. You may need less time to pass out, and when you are in such a state you cannot react. Many people thought they had the flu, and in fact their lives were in danger.

Source: arxiusarquitectura

2. Check the alarm

You know that detector can be activated by some other reasons and not presence of CO, and you will recognize this if you are familiar with your device beforehand. In addition to knowing the situations in which this can happen, it is important to recognize. Depending on the type of device you own, it can sound up to 5 times in a row every few seconds. Of course, this may refer to a weak battery or danger levels. Never gamble with this. However, to discharge the battery, it is characteristic to hear a short sound every minute. Check it, and if you have the slightest suspicion, go outside immediately.

3. Call for help

After you have left the building, you need to call the emergency service, which will check the premises and determine how safe it is. Do not enter the building on your own, even if you notice that not everyone is together, leave this to the professionals. It is best to always have an escape plan in place if these situations arise.

Source: Wikipedia

4. Call the CO inspection

When the whole situation calms down, it is best to call an inspection. They will check if your house or building is safe enough to continue to function as before. This will be a sure confirmation that everything is as it should be.


Regardless of whether you have taken all preventive measures, a source from which CO is leaking can always appear. Therefore, it is best to be prepared if a dangerous situation such as the presence of a high concentration of carbon monoxide occurs.

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