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7 Things You Need to Know About Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxideDo you believe carbon monoxide poisoning could happen to you?

Most people don’t believe it. They think of carbon monoxide poisoning as being something which happens to other people. Namely, people who run their cars in their garages, which of course they’d never do.

However, carbon monoxide poisoning is actually quite common. That’s why we wanted to put together this list of 7 things that we think you should know about this deadly gas.

1. Carbon monoxide hazards are more common than you think they are.

Carbon monoxide comes from more than your car. The gas is produced almost any time you burn a fuel source.

Do you have a gas stove? Carbon monoxide. Do you have a wood burning fireplace? Carbon monoxide. Do you have a barbeque pit? Carbon monoxide, even if you run it outside instead of inside (in fact, that’s why you have to run it outside). Do you have anything at all which uses propane? Carbon monoxide.

You’re thinking, “Sure, but I use all this stuff safely and properly and there’s never been a problem.” You probably have. When’s the last time you had it maintenanced, however? Sometimes it’s not about how you use these appliance. Sometimes it’s about a clogged vent line or other issue which may keep the gas from escaping in a safe way.

2. The “gas smell” is not a good way to detect carbon monoxide.

The scene has been on television enough to be iconic. “There’s a gas leak.” “I smell gas.”

There is a chemical additive in natural gas which is designed to allow you to detect a smell when soemthing has gone wrong. That does not mean that you’re always going to have this convenient “gas smell” warning when there’s a carbon monoxide problem.

Remember, carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and tasteless.

3. Carbon monoxide poisoning is more common than you think.

Forbes reports 20,000 to 30,000 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning each year. 500 of those cases result in death.

All 30,000 of these annual cases thought it wouldn’t happen to them.

4. Carbon monoxide passes right through drywall.

If you’ve got a problem in one part of the house then you’ve got a problem in all of the parts of the house. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the room with the hazard or not.

If you live in a multi-family unit, even a duplex, you won’t even know whether or not you have a hazard. Your neighbors could have the hazard instead, but you’re still at risk.

5. Mecklenburg County requires them.

Mecklenburg county passed an ordinance in 2002 which requires carbon monoxide detectors in every home. So if you live in our Charlotte, NC service area you should already have one.

Of course, the ordinance didn’t say much about the quality of these detectors. Obviously, you can go with a $10 battery operated hardware store carbon monoxide detector if you want. You’d still be within the bounds of the law.

You just wouldn’t be very safe after the battery died.

6. A hardwired carbon monoxide detector on a back-up battery could save your life.

Carbon monoxide detectors are a lot like smoke detectors. Eventually the cheap, battery operated ones lose their battery life. Or they malfunction and start shrieking constantly without provocation, until you smash the thing out of sheer self defense.

Plug-in carbon monoxide detectors aren’t much better. Again, they have a shelf life.

A battery operated detector only works when the batteries are working. A plug-in detector only works when the power is on (which is pretty silly, considering that most carbon monoxide poisoning incidents happen during power outages as people try to cook or heat their home).

Our hardwired carbon monoxide detectors offer you protection in all circumstances. The hard wiring means the batteries aren’t going to run out. But your alarm system’s back up battery will still power the carbon monoxide detector in the event of a power outage.

Speaking of smoke detectors…

7. No, your smoke detector cannot detect carbon monoxide.

The two pieces of equipment have two totally different functions. You’ll need one of each.

Are you convinced that carbon monoxide is a hazard worth taking seriously? Call JSB Security today. We can install a hardwired carbon monoxide detector which will protect you and your loved ones from this silent, deadly poison.


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