Having a carbon monoxide detector in your home may not just make good sense, but may also be city or state law depending upon where you live. Since, unlike smoke, which you might detect if you were awake, carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, it is unlikely you would be awakened by a leak in your home. Carbon monoxide can leak from any source that uses fossil fuels to create heat. These can include installed furnaces, boilers, water heaters, and fireplaces. Some portable heaters use fossil fuels and may require appropriate ventilation and the installation of a carbon monoxide detector.
These detectors are not expensive, and can readily be purchased at hardware stores. You can even find combination smoke/ carbon monoxide detectors. Having both just makes good sense for the health and safety of yourself and anyone who resides with you. When installing a carbon monoxide detector, you should be certain that one is installed with 15 feet (4.57 m) of the entrance to any bedroom. If you have a large home, or a home with several levels, you should plan to install several in the home.
Many people wonder what to do if their carbon monoxide detector goes off. This is an excellent question. If you note symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, extreme headache, dizziness, or illness, get outside immediately. Call 911 once you are outdoors. If for some reason you cannot get outdoors immediately, open all the windows in your home and try to stand near an open window and breathe in fresh air. In either case call emergency services to have this potentially deadly leak checked out immediately.
Where there are no laws in a city or state that call for the installation of a carbon monoxide detector, it’s still safer to have one. Consider using one in any home with heat that burns fossil fuels, in any apartment, condo, or dorm room that uses boilers or gas heating, and basically in any home. It is tremendously tragic when people are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, but it is a tragedy you can prevent by purchasing a carbon monoxide detector and installing it according to its instructions.