Why Carbon Monoxide Monitoring is Important
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a significant concern in all living and working environments. Because of this, many security companies install CO detectors by default in security systems for home and office use. CO detectors are not, however, common in all areas, which is why Essentia, a Trinidad and Tobago security firm, is working hard to spread awareness about this silent killer.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
CO is a odorless, colorless and tasteless gas. When present, CO mixes with the air in an environment, which can be problematic in an indoor space. CO is naturally occurring and even present in human bodies. However, at higher levels, CO becomes toxic to all living things, particularly people and animals.
Why is CO Dangerous?
Carbon monoxide is dangerous to humans because it robs us of the oxygen we need to survive. When we inhale CO, it bonds to the hemoglobin in blood thereby displacing the O2 we need. The CO-hemoglobin bond (COHb) is the cause of CO poisoning. Initial symptoms of CO poisoning can include headaches, nausea and tiredness, but continued exposure can lead to brain damage and even death.
How Does a CO Detector Work?
CO detectors have come a long way since their invention, and modern detectors generally require an external power source. There are three primary types of CO detectors: biomimetic sensors, semiconductor detectors and electrochemical detectors. The biomimetic approach actually reacts with synthetic hemoglobin. The semiconductor approach recognizes the decreased electrical resistance caused by the presence of CO. The electrochemical approach produces a current that is in relationship to the amount of CO in the environment. Regardless of the type of CO detector used, if dangerous levels of carbon monoxide invade the home, an audible alarm will alert residents.
How Does a CO Detector Save Lives?
A CO detector saves lives by alerting people that CO is present in the environment. Since detectors can sense CO at very low levels, the alert can occur before any CO poisoning has occurred. The biggest danger to CO poisoning is when one is asleep because they can slip directly into death. Therefore, the audible alarms are generally designed to wake people.
The Advantage of Monitored CO Detection
Ideally, CO detectors used in security systems for home use should be monitored around-the-clock by a security company. When the alarm is triggered, a Trinidad and Tobago security firm, could call the home and ensure that everyone was fully awake and aware. If they cannot get confirmation, then they can dispatch the fire department and paramedics to the scene.
Where to Use CO Detectors
CO detectors should be used in all living and working environments. CO detectors should be tested regularly, and ideally, they should be monitored by an outside service. In a home, you should generally have a CO detector on each level of the residence. Where it is placed on the wall or ceiling is irrelevant. In large areas, it may be necessary to have additional units to achieve full coverage.