A San Antonio carbon monoxide detector, commonly known as a CO detector, is an electronic device that detects the presence of the carbon monoxide gas in the air. It is a colourless and odourless compound produced by incomplete combustion, and increased exposure can result in carbon monoxide poisoning and death. Virtually undetectable by human senses, even smaller concentrations can be hazardous and harmful over long periods of time.
Since it is colourless, tasteless and odourless. As a result, detection in a home environment is impossible without a warning device. A toxic gas, it attaches to the blood stream faster than oxygen, resulting in less oxygen reaching the various organs in a person’s body. Such is the danger of unknowingly inhaling carbon monoxide that many countries have instituted federal laws and regulations prohibiting any building from being erected without suitable CO detectors and a reliable alarm in place.
The detectors are manufactured to measure carbon monoxide levels over time. Most are equipped with an alarm which triggers when an abnormal amount of CO accumulates in the area. This provides individuals with an adequate time to evacuate the premises. Some devices also contact emergency services when the alarm is triggered.
A detector is sometimes confused with smoke detectors, but they serve a completely disparate function. Smoke detectors alert individuals to the presence of a smouldering fire, whereas an alarm and detector will warn people of the invisible danger of carbon monoxide build-up caused by a malfunctioning device. In the home, sources include space and water heaters, blocked chimneys, open flames, or a car left running inside a garage.
Since it is the same density as air, the device can be placed near the ceiling or the floor. However, each manufacturer has a preferred location for their device, and the installation instructions should be read thoroughly before placing the detector. The devices are widely available online and in hardware stores. They are typically battery operated or AC powered, although most include a battery backup in the event of a power failure. As new technology progresses, many detectors and alarm based systems have seen increased battery lifetimes of up to seven years, more than tripling the lifespan since detectors were first introduced onto the market. The gas sensors in the alarms also have a limited lifespan, generally two to five years. Much like smoke detectors, the devices are usually equipped with a test button to determine battery viability, but not the circuitry of the sensor. The sensor can be tested by using an external gas source, and should be performed annually.
A carbon monoxide detector can also be integrated into a security or fire panel and monitored by a central device. These have the added advantage of being wired directly to an outside monitoring station, which in addition to an alarm, can notify the proper emergency services while the occupant is asleep. As carbon monoxide can be a silent, deleterious poison even in small doses, a good detector can provide the comfort and security that and homeowner’s appliances are working correctly. More importantly, as a deadly and clandestine poison, having a CO detector in the house can ensure that the occupant’s health is not endangered in the short and long term.