Most people already understand the need to have working smoke detectors installed, and they understand many of the fire hazards they face. People are also much safer in their homes, though, when they have dispelled the myths surrounding carbon monoxide (CO). Once they have discerned myth from fact, they are better prepared to protect their families.
One of the common myths regards the installation of CO alarms. Many people are under the false assumption that the alarms must be installed in the same manner that smoke alarms are installed. CO does not rise the way smoke does, and so a CO alarm may be placed anywhere. A common choice is level with an outlet. Some people also have the false impression that the CO alarms of today are as prone to false alarms as the early units were. Thankfully, this is not the case. Beware, though, that some alerts that appear to be false are true readings of a spike in CO levels. Most people open windows and doors soon enough that the levels dissipate without further incident.
Other myths involve the physical properties of CO. Some people mistakenly believe that it has a scent, taste or color. The fact is that CO has no color, taste or smell. When people do smell something, it is actually a byproduct of fuel that has been burned. Those same byproducts can also produce a taste. The other myth about the physical makeup of CO is that it does not exist unless it is part of a fuel that is being burned. CO is, however, already present in the air. It is usually at normal levels for people to process. It can sometimes elevate when a home is tightly closed to keep temperatures normal, but these levels are generally safe. It is important, however, to be watchful for dangerously elevated levels.
People should be aware that contrary to another myth, people cannot always tell when levels of CO are excessive. It should also be noted that CO poisoning symptoms can mimic the flu. This makes it important to be properly prepared. For more information and help with your heating and air conditioning needs, contact us.