Carbon Monoxide is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas that can be emitted from any standard fossil fuel burning appliance or heating source. There are thousands of diagnosed CO poisonings each year in North America, and hundreds of fatalities. For a minimal investment of time and money you can take the appropriate steps to protect your family from this silent killer.
Due to the fact that you can't sense CO it can poison you slowly, or under extreme conditions, kill you within a matter of minutes. Carbon Monoxide is attracted to the hemoglobin in your bloodstream, when inhaled if bonds to the hemoglobin displacing the oxygen that your body needs to survive. It will suffocate you from the inside out, and can cause brain damage or death.
Long term exposure to low levels of CO often causes flu-like symptoms & headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, disorientation and fatigue. Children, infants and unborn babies are most vulnerable to CO poisoning, for they have a higher metabolic rate, meaning they require more oxygen and use it much quicker. If exposed, CO can lead to learning disabilities, memory loss and personality changes in children, and miscarriages for exposed pregnant women.
For a small investment, you can help prevent the potential disastrous effects of CO poisoning by installing at least one Carbon Monoxide detector in your home. They are inexpensive, easy to install, require very little maintenance, and are now mandatory in all residences with fuel burning appliances in the new City of Toronto. When choosing a CO detector weigh all your options, such as plug-in or battery powered, how sensitive is the unit, does it detect low levels. There are many CO detectors to choose from, but only a few are worth choosing at the moment.
If your Carbon Monoxide detector should go into alarm, leave the house immediately and call for emergency help. Do not go back inside until the fire department tells you it is safe. Allow them to help you find the source and determine how to repair the problem as soon as possible. Do not take a chance with Carbon Monoxide. This gas is undetectable to your senses and it can be fatal. Abiding by the city's by-law can save your life and the lives of your family.
The best Carbon Monoxide detector we have found to date, by far, is the Senco Model One. This detector has placed first in all three group tests performed by the Brampton Fire Department, the Toronto Star, and W5 (television news program).
The main reason for Senco's exceptional performance is the sensor used. The sensor uses new technology that makes it several times more sensitive then other typical sensors. A typical sensor generally detects carbon monoxide in the range of 60-100 part per million; the Senco detects levels 3-4 times lower, namely 20 PPM and will go as low as 3-5 PPM when on stand-by mode. We do not know of a more sensitive household detector.
The Senco's digital readout shows you the actual level of carbon monoxide, the highest level recorded over a period of time, and most importantly, it can take instantaneous readings of the CO levels. This feature is very useful for locating and isolating the source of the deadly gas; for it allows you to watch the levels rise as you get closer to the source.