Carbon monoxide (CO) is a silent killer since it’s hard to detect with the naked eye or smell it. In our homes, the toxic gas can come from various sources. If one inhales a small dose of carbon monoxide, it may cause adverse effects on their health. In the U.S., carbon monoxide is the leading cause of poisoning fatalities.
Fortunately, carbon monoxide gas can be managed using detectors. But can it do everything?
What Carbon Monoxide Detectors Can Do
- Detect high levels of CO: The detectors provide a warning whenever there is an abnormal level of CO in the air for a long time. Once the alarms go off, place the detectors in a carbon monoxide-free surrounding to reset.
- Provide warning in case of a CO emission: A standard detector has a metal oxide semiconductor whose circuitry detects CO. It reduces its electrical resistance triggering the alarm when CO emission occurs.
- Sense carbon dioxide reaching the detector: A typical carbon dioxide detector has an electrochemical sensor electrode. When you immerse in a chemical solution, the electrodes sense fluctuations in electrical currents when CO reaches them and triggers the alarm.
- Breakdown: You need to be careful when handling a carbon monoxide detector. It’s highly fragile. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) recommends placing the detectors outside your bedroom avoid damaging them.
What Carbon Monoxide Detectors Can’t-Do
- Operate without power: All detectors are either plug-ins or battery-powered. You can quickly move a plug-in indicator to a different room with a socket.
- Sense natural gas and smoke: Typically, a carbon monoxide detector has three sensors which react with CO. However, they can’t detect smoke or natural gas.
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