Carbon Monoxide Detection – Is Your Family Protected?
In April 2017, the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs announced that the majority of Canadian homeowners are currently at risk of in-home carbon monoxide poisoning. This is because 2010 regulations which stipulate that all newly built properties in Canada must be fitted with carbon monoxide detectors (and alarms) don’t mandate older property owners to take adequate safety precautions.
Of course, no one can force existing Canadian home and property owners to install carbon monoxide detector and alarm systems. As it is, however, many homeowners simply aren’t aware of how significant a risk carbon monoxide poses to their and their family’s safety.
Why is Carbon Monoxide so Dangerous?
Plummeting winter temperatures coupled with long winter seasons themselves, mean that many people in Toronto are heavily reliant on their home gas and portable heaters for much of the year. What many people do not realize, however, is that using portable heaters especially can be a serious carbon monoxide safety hazard.
Many gas heaters and even gas cookers release carbon monoxide whilst they are in operation. When, however, such devices are used in an enclosed area, that carbon monoxide gas builds up and can cause suffocation by displacing the level of oxygen in a room. Worse. because carbon monoxide is absorbed like oxygen into a person’s bloodstream, long-term adverse health problems can result from even isolated carbon monoxide exposure. What really makes carbon monoxide so dangerous, however, is that fact that the first stage of poisoning will often see people simply become drowsy and fall asleep.
Given the above, not having a carbon monoxide detector and alarm can be deadly.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide itself is created when carbon-based fuels such as wood, coal, natural gas, and even propane, don’t burn as fully or efficiently as possible. Carbon released from fuel sources subsequently bonds with oxygen in the surrounding atmosphere. (This is why the term carbon monoxide literally means, one carbon atom bonded to one oxygen atom).
Because of the fact that carbon bonds to oxygen, carbon monoxide is deadly for all air-breathing animals. This is because as well as slowly displacing oxygen in a specific area, bonding to oxygen allows carbon to enter the human bloodstream where it accumulates in place of oxygen in human red blood cells.
Quickly starving the body of energy, people in a carbon monoxide saturated area will never realize without a detector and alarm in place. Instead, when levels of the odorless and colorless gas are high enough, they will simply fall into a literally eternal sleep.
Effects of Long-Term Exposure
Without a carbon monoxide detector and alarm, many people in Canada are likely exposing themselves to high levels of carbon monoxide on a regular basis already. What is more, this in itself is a very serious issue. Even, after all, when carbon monoxide doesn’t cause death, acute poisoning can still result in long-term brain and lung damage. Worse, symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure will often present themselves (and be mistaken for) cold and/or flu-like symptoms, leaving many people to disregarded signs of exposure altogether.
How Exactly Does a Carbon Monoxide Detector Work?
At IGTA Security, we take carbon monoxide safety just as seriously as we do home fire safety and physical home security. This is why we are striving to educate people in Ontario in regard to the real risks involved with carbon monoxide. This and provide reliable carbon monoxide detectors which can help save lives.
Different to smoke alarms and heat detectors, our carbon monoxide detectors test for carbon monoxide molecules circulating in the air wherever a detector is placed.
In order to do this, our alarms use biometric gel sensors, electrochemical sensors, and metal oxide semiconductor-based sensors. Each of these will then trigger a reaction when carbon monoxide reaches a level above which is considered safe. Once this reaction is triggered, a shrill alarm will subsequently sound and much more importantly, sound in time to adequately alert anyone present to the danger at hand.
What Steps Should You Take After an Alarm is Triggered?
As a rule, household members should react to a carbon monoxide alarm exactly the same way as they would a fire alarm.
A property should be vacated and once outside, all household members should be checked for flu-like symptoms, at which point (if such symptoms are present) emergency services should be called. The next step will then be to thoroughly ventilate a property, before calling in a professional to find and isolate the cause of a carbon monoxide build up.
Can Smoke & Fire Alarms be used in Place of Carbon Monoxide Detectors?
While some smoke and fire alarms do advertise themselves as also being able to detect increased levels of carbon monoxide, separate detector and alarm devices should always be used. This way, home and property owners will always know which alarm has been triggered. Much more importantly, it should be remembered that regular smoke and fire alarms themselves offer absolutely no protection from carbon monoxide.
Choose Wisely by Choosing a Reliable & Fully Featured Carbon Monoxide Detector
Several fatalities are caused every year in Canada by carbon monoxide gas exposure. Being silent, odorless, and invisible, carbon monoxide is literally a silent killer which could strike anywhere at any moment.
Thankfully, at IGTA Security, we can help you keep yourself and your loved ones safer by installing carbon monoxide detector devices, each of which will sound an alarm whenever they are triggered. You and your family can then be alerted to the threat at hand and in doing so, take whatever remedial action is necessary to ensure your future safety.
Are you one of the millions of households in Canada taking carbon monoxide for granted? If so, don’t wait a second longer to start looking out for your family’s best interests. Call or contact IGTA Security today and let us help you find the right detector for your home.