Clothes dryers. Water heaters. Furnaces or boilers. Fireplaces, both gas and wood burning.
Other possible clues of a carbon monoxide leak include:
- black, sooty marks on the front covers of gas fires.
- sooty or yellow/brown stains on or around boilers, stoves or fires.
- smoke building up in rooms because of a faulty flue.
- yellow instead of blue flames coming from gas appliances.
- pilot lights frequently blowing out.
The easiest way to see if there is carbon monoxide inside your home is with a carbon monoxide detector (which also includes an alarm). In fact, many building codes require a carbon monoxide gas detector.
Carbon Monoxide Detection Systems Mobile App
The Carbon Monoxide Detection Systems Checklist mobile app inspects Carbon Monoxide Detection Systems using an iPad, iPhone, Android device, or a Windows desktop.
Can a carbon monoxide detector go off for no reason? In most cases, no. There is typically a reason why the CO alarm is sounding, whether it detects carbon monoxide in the air or is low on battery. Most CO detectors beep every 30 seconds if the battery is low.
The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If you breathe in a lot of CO it can make you pass out or kill you.
The most common source of CO poisoning is unvented space heaters in the home. An unvented space heater uses combustible fuel and indoor air for the heating process. It vents the gases it makes into the room, instead of outdoors.
If the carbon monoxide concentration in the air is much higher, signs of poisoning may occur within 1-2 hours. A very high carbon monoxide concentration can even kill an exposed individual within 5 minutes.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
Early symptoms of exposure to CO, even after only breathing it for a short time, include: Dull headache. Shortness of breath during mild exertion. Weakness or fatigue.
Call 911 immediately and report that the alarm has gone off. Do not assume it is safe to reenter the home when the alarm stops. When you open windows and doors, it helps diminish the amount of carbon monoxide in the air, but the source may still be producing the gas.
Of course, you will want to create great ventilation in your home, however, opening a window will not completely get rid of carbon monoxide. The goal is to open more than one window in order to provide proper ventilation in your home and reduce the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Can carbon monoxide leak if a furnace is off? Technically, your system won't produce carbon monoxide if your furnace is not running.
One skill sometimes credited to dogs is the ability to sense or detect carbon monoxide. Unfortunately, even a dog's incredible nose can't detect carbon monoxide, though pets can still play an important role in the early detection of poisonous gas.
Home furnaces and water heaters are a major source of carbon monoxide poisoning, usually from poorly vented fuel sources or leaking vent pipes. Ideally, you should have your furnace and water heater inspected by a professional at least once a year.
Smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors can false alarm for several reasons. False or nuisance alarms are when your smoke detector or CO alarm goes off, but there is no presence of smoke or carbon monoxide in your home.
In domestic properties, your CO alarm can be triggered by any fuel burning appliance such as gas cookers, boilers and ovens. All of these appliances give off small traces of CO, but the levels can rise slightly when adequate ventilation isn't provided, or the venting is blocked or clogged by dust.
Carbon monoxide is a gas that has no odor, color or taste. You wouldn't be able to see or smell it, but it can be very dangerous to your health and even fatal.
HIGHLIGHTS. Apple has been granted a patent to integrate gas sensors on its devices. The patent talks about gas sensors being integrated on iPhones and Apple Watches. These sensors will be able to detect toxic gases such as carbon monoxide and methane.
The Best Way to Test for Carbon Monoxide
Because CO is colorless, tasteless, odorless and non-irritating, the best way to detect its presence is to use an electronic combustion testing instrument.
If the Alarm is exposed to 150 ppm of CO, IT MUST ALARM BETWEEN 10 and 50 MINUTES. If the Alarm is exposed to 70 ppm of CO, IT MUST ALARM BETWEEN 60 and 240 MINUTES.
In general, most carbon monoxide detectors will not detect natural gas, as they are different types of gas entirely. Most fire detectors will detect carbon monoxide rather than natural gas.