Carbon Monoxide Detectors
YOU MAY NOT REMOVE OR RELOCATE THE CARBON MONOXIDE MONITOR
Carbon Monoxide Detector FAQ
- What is Carbon Monoxide?
- What is the effect of exposure to CO?
- How do CO detectors work?
- What do I do if the alarm sounds?
- What happens if we lose power?
- Can I put furniture in front of the monitor?
- How could the monitor be damaged?
- Am I responsible for a damaged or lost monitor?
- For more information:
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas produced when fuels (such as wood, gasoline, heating oil, etc.) burn incompletely. Fireplaces, gas furnaces, gas stoves, charcoal grills and other devices that use combustion are potential sources of CO.
What is the effect of exposure to CO?
CO replaces oxygen in the bloodstream. Individuals suffering from CO poisoning effectively suffocate, since even though their breathing is unhindered, they cannot get enough oxygen into the bloodstream. Mild CO poisoning (e.g. exposure to a concentration higher than 400 parts per million for 2-3 hours) feels like the flu, with symptoms including fatigue, nausea, vomiting and headaches. Higher exposure can result in disorientation, severe headaches, difficulty breathing and ultimately death.
How do CO detectors work?
The CO detector installed in your living area measures how much CO has accumulated in parts per million (ppm). and displays a digital readout of the concentration, in parts per million (ppm). The monitor takes measurements every 2.5 minutes and sounds an alarm before the concentration of CO becomes high enough for adults to begin to experience symptoms. The alarm sounds when CO levels reach 100 ppm over 90 minutes, 200 ppm over 35 minutes or 400 ppm over 15 minutes.
What do I do if the alarm sounds?
- Evacuate immediately.
- From another area, call Public Safety at 911 and report the problem.
- Do not re-enter the room until instructed to do so by Public Safety, Alarm Shop personnel or Environmental Health and Safety.
Public Safety will contact either the Alarm Shop or Environmental Health and Safety to measure CO levels and determine the necessary course of action. This monitor is designed to minimize the possibility of false alarms, so treat all alarms as a real problem.
What happens if we lose power?
The unit is equipped with a backup battery that will provide power to the monitor for about six hours. If the monitor completely loses power, it will go through a self-test mode once power is restored. During the self-test mode, the alarm will sound briefly.
Can I put furniture in front of the monitor?
The monitor will not function properly if it is covered up. Ensure that there is at least a few inches of clearance around the monitor to allow air to flow through it. Do not place large pieces of furniture or bedding in front of it.
How could the monitor be damaged?
The CO monitor is sensitive to extreme temperature, high humidity and liquids. It should not be placed in very hot or very cold areas. Water and cleaning solvents spilled or sprayed onto the monitor can cause damage.
Am I responsible for a damaged or lost monitor?
The Housing inspectors will include the CO monitors in their routine inspection. If the monitor is missing or damaged by the tenant, the tenant will be responsible for the replacement cost of the monitor. If the monitor is left unplugged, the tenant may be fined.
Who can I contact for more information?
If you have any other questions about the CO monitor, contact the Housing Office. For inquiries about the health effects of carbon monoxide, contact Environmental Health and Safety at 8-5294.