Carbon Monoxide Tester

Carbon monoxide testers, also frequently referred to as ‘carbon monoxide detectors,’ are devices for detecting the presence of carbon monoxide within a home or commercial building. These testers are generally attached to an electrical outlet within the home, and will trigger an audio or video alarm in the event of elevated levels of the poisonous gas, carbon monoxide (CO) are detected in the air.

It’s tempting to think that such devices are unnecessary, and that the risk of death or injury caused by carbon monoxide is minimal. However, a range of scientists and legislative bodies are working to ensure that carbon monoxide testers become a necessary addition to all new homes, both within the United States (where they’re already required in certain states) and in other countries abroad.

Carbon monoxide itself is an odorless, colorless, virtually in-detectible gas that is capable of killing an adult human within minutes of exposure at high levels. In the majority of fatal carbon monoxide poisoning cases, an older motor vehicle – typically one that lacks a catalytic converter – is involved, as the exhaust gases produced by these vehicles can include fairly large levels of carbon monoxide.

Today, with vehicles designed to produce limited amounts of carbon monoxide, the most frequently observed causes of carbon monoxide poisoning are exhaust gases from home fires and generators. A moderate dose of carbon monoxide will cause headaches and loss of judgement in adults. Larger, or more concentrated exposure to carbon monoxide can produce death within twenty minutes.

In California, Colorado, and several other states, carbon monoxide testers are required by law to be installed in new homes and residential developments. Many states, and even some countries, use an all-encompassing commercial and residential law to force carbon monoxide detectors into buildings and homes. These detectors are often paid for by public organizations, or are offered at a discount.

There are several ways in which these detectors produce a ‘positive’ carbon monoxide reading. The first is through a chemical reaction, in which chemicals are held inside the detector that will react at a certain air-CO level. This reaction will trigger an alarm within the carbon monoxide tester, giving anyone working within the affected building ample time to leave before CO levels become fatal.

Others work using an electrical field, which may become disrupted by the presence of CO within the room or building. These alarms, like the others, will alert nearby people to the presence with a loud alarm sound, allowing everyone to leave the building unaffected. Both types of CO detectors use built-in backup batteries, allowing for alarms to sound even when the standard battery is flat.

Many other carbon monoxide detectors, particularly those installed in homes and apartments, use a standard wall power socket for continual operation. If this type of carbon monoxide detector is used in your home, make sure that it’s fitted with a back-up battery. Otherwise, the tester may not operate in the event of a power cut or disruption to your home’s electrical distribution board.

Carbon monoxide testers are available in a variety of forms, although most are produced to attach to a wall or ceiling area. Due to the chemical nature of carbon monoxide – which is roughly similar in density to air – placing a carbon monoxide detector above human head level is no problem. Check that your carbon monoxide tester receives adequate airflow to allow for accurate CO level readings.

In general, it’s best to place your carbon monoxide tester near a potential source of the gas, such as an indoor fireplace or gas-based power generator. This will, in the event of a carbon monoxide leak, force the alarm to sound before the gas travels throughout your home. In commercial buildings, it’s wise to place your detector in communal areas, as it will then track the air in several rooms.

In terms of longevity and durability, it’s likely that your carbon monoxide detector can operate for several years without requiring maintenance of replacement. Check using the ‘test’ function on any detector to make sure that the alarm is capable of sounding, but remember that this may not show the actual detector’s condition, merely the condition of the carbon monoxide tester’s alarm.

Carbon monoxide testers are devices that, while somewhat nasty to think about, serve an important purpose in our daily lives. Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the most frequent gas-related death cases in the United States, and as such it deserves a healthy dose of preventative attention. Install a carbon monoxide tester both to minimize stress and keep yourself and your family safe and secure.

This Carbon Monoxide Tester Review is Written/Updated on Jul 26th, 2011 and filed under Home Improvement. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed