Around the House – CO Detectors

Posted on: February 28th, 2012 by zach

You Can’t See it, Hear it, or Smell it…But it’s There, All Right.  And the Worst Thing You Can Do is Ignore it!

Every year, hundreds of people die from carbon monoxide poisoning, and thousands more become seriously ill.  So here’s a quick primer on CO causes, how to minimize their effects, and why you should install a CO detector today!

Carbon monoxide is a natural byproduct of appliances and power tools that burn fuels like gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal.  Breathing low levels of CO can cause shortness of breath, mild nausea, and headaches.  At higher levels of inhalation, CO can cause drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, and confusion. At the extreme?  Loss of consciousness and death.


Any tool or appliance that is not adequately vented and maintained can be a potential source of CO, including:

So the idea is to prevent CO poisoning from reaching dangerous levels in the first place…and here are a few simple steps to help you accomplish just that:

  • Have your heating system, chimney and flue inspected and cleaned by a qualified technician every year.
  • Don’t operate gasoline-powered engines in confined areas.
  • Choose vented appliances whenever possible.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector with an audible alarm in your home and garage.


If you’re planning to purchase a CO detector – or even if you already own one – check to see that it carries the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) label, a long-term warranty, and that it’s easy to self-test and reset.  

Should your CO detector alarm suddenly go off:

  • Check for symptoms of poisoning.
  • Should you find any, get everyone out of the house and seek medical attention for those who require it.
  • Otherwise, ventilate your home with fresh air, turn off all potential sources of CO, including your heating system and water heater, etc.
  • Have a qualified technician inspect your fuel-burning appliances and chimneys to determine why the alarm sounded in the first place.

If you have any concerns or guidance on the best options, please contact Ashton Service Group at 604-283-2383 and we will be happy to assist.

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