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We cannot express the importance of having a carbon monoxide detector in your home enough – it is EXTREMELY necessary. In fact, it can mean the difference between life and death. According to CDC.gov, over 5,000 people died from carbon monoxide poisoning in the US over a ten-year period from 1999-2010. Most of these deaths could have been prevented with a carbon monoxide detector. Let’s take a closer look at these detectors and why they’re so vitally important to have in your home.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide, or it’s chemical formula – CO, is an odorless colorless gas that is poisonous to humans when inhaled, which can result in death. It is produced by the burning of different fuels like oil, coal, wood, kerosene, propane and natural gas. The gas is generated when the fuel is burned incompletely.

What does a carbon monoxide detector do?

A detector will alert you if it detects carbon monoxide in your home at dangerous levels. It triggers an alarm that sounds similar to a smoke detector, which will wake you and your family so you can get safely out of the house and call 911.

What kind of detector should I get?

Several different smoke alarms are also CO detectors, or you could do a separate detector strictly for CO, the choice is up to you. If your utility room is in a basement, where the furnace and other systems are kept, it’s best to have a CO detector in that area as well as the main area of the house. Some detectors use batteries, so it is important to change the batteries once a year, although most will alert you when the batteries are failing. Other CO detectors are hardwired with your smoke detectors, but it’s important to have a backup battery alarm in case of a power failure.

For the sake of you and your family’s safety, be sure your home is equipped with quality carbon monoxide detectors.