You can’t see or smell it
It’s a colourless, odourless and non-irritant gas, which means you can’t tell when it’s present in the air. When carbon monoxide (CO) is inhaled, it displaces the oxygen in a person’s lungs, which in turn can starve vital organs of oxygen, leading to CO poisoning or illness.
Where is carbon monoxide found?
There are many sources within the home, including heating systems, inadequate ventilation between the home and garage, improperly sealed or open fireplaces with or without proper ventilation, and leakage from a variety of faulty appliances. CO is not restricted to just old homes. New homes are susceptible to it too, especially if there is poor ventilation throughout the home.
Who is at risk?
All members of the household and pets are particularly at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning whilst sleeping. People are often not aware of the symptoms until it’s too late, or mistake it for something else. So having a carbon monoxide alarm installed throughout your home will alert you to high amounts of carbon monoxide gas in any room. Thus allowing you to take action to reduce CO levels for the future.
Where should I install a carbon monoxide detector?
Install the CO detector in all levels of the home, particularly in bedrooms and living areas;
Do not cover the detector or put any obstructions in front of it;
CO detectors are not waterproof, so keep it away from liquids and don’t store it outside;
Always refer to the manufacturer’s product manual for installation instructions and maintenance requirements.
Currently, there are no Australian standards for this, but you can choose a CO detector that is certified to EN50291 (European standard) or UL2034 (US standard). The ABUS CO Monitor as found in our marketplace is available, with free delivery across Australia.
A few final points:
Change batteries regularly according to your user manual. Usually, this is about every two years;
With a dry cloth (or as recommended by the manufacturer), wipe them free of dust on a regular basis. But do not use cleaning agents, chemicals or liquids;
Replace your detector as per instructions from the manufacturer, which is often about every ten years. You may be able to note this on the unit itself.