Carbon Monoxide Detectors

OverviewCO_Detector

CO Detectors are very similar in appearance to smoke detectors. They are available as both plug in and battery operated units. The better units have a digital display and memory for peak CO detection level.

CO Detectors should be installed in all homes with older fuel-fired furnaces, water heaters and space heaters.

Follow all manufacturer’s installation instructions.

CO Detectors are set to go off between 9 and 35 ppm (parts per million). Levels over 100 ppm in a confined space over a period of time can be lethal.

 

More Information

CO Detectors are available from every hardware, home centers and most super stores. There are also many on-line distributors.

When CO Detectors first came out, they were well over $100 each for basic units that had a LOT of problems. Today, they are less than $75 for better units.

See Carbon Monoxide

 

CO Detector Alert Plan

The following procedures were extracted from a plan that has been suggested for use by volunteer fire departments:

Regardless of the response, the following procedure is established.

The first arriving officer or engine company shall establish scene control per incident command procedure.

    1. Verification shall be made if the alarm is coming from a smoke detector or a carbon monoxide detector.
    2. If the alarm is coming from a smoke detector:
      1. investigate the cause of the alarm;
      2. Take the necessary action to mitigate the situation.
    3. If the alarm is coming from a carbon monoxide detector:
      1. Determine if any persons at the scene are exhibiting symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning; if so, immediately evacuate and ventilate the premises;
      2. Request the necessary EMS response;
      3. Regin the investigation procedure.
      4. If no one exhibits any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, it will not be necessary to evacuate or ventilate the premises unless a level of over 9 ppm (over the zero baseline) is detected by the CO metering device.
    4. The incident commander shall request that the gas company respond to the scene if:
      1. A CO level of over 9 ppm (over the zero baseline) is detected by the metering device,
      2. Or someone is showing signs of being ill due to carbon monoxide,
      3. Or the incident commander feels a response by the gas company is needed.
    5. Gather information from the homeowner/occupant(s)
      1. About what they were doing and what if any combustion appliances were being used.
      2. How long has the detector been alarming?
      3. Has the dwelling been ventilated? If so, how long?
      4. Was a car running in the attached garage?
      5. Where is the detector located?
    6. Carbon Monoxide Investigations (Procedure)
      1. Zero the meter in fresh air (determine zero baseline) and comply with all start up procedures as recommended by the manufacturer of the metering equipment.
      2. Initiate a survey of the premises to determine if there are any amounts above 9 ppm of carbon monoxide present.
      3. All personnel shall make complete use of the SCBA in any atmosphere in excess of 35 ppm of CO.
    7. Readings of 9 ppm or less:
      1. Inform the owner/occupant(s) that the Department’s CO detection equipment DID NOT detect an elevated level of CO at this time.
      2. Recommend the owner/occupant(s) check their CO detector per the manufacturers recommendations.
      3. Attempt to reset the detector.
      4. Inform the owner/occupant(s) that if the detector activates again to call 9-1-1.
    8. Readings of more than 9 ppm but less than 100 ppm:
      1. Any reading above 9 ppm shall be considered an above normal reading.
      2. Inform the owner/occupant(s) that the Department’s CO detection equipment DID detect a potentially dangerous level of CO.
      3. Recommend that all persons leave the premises and begin ventilation.
      4. DO NOT ATTEMPT ANY REPAIRS OR ADJUSTMENTS TO POTENTIALLY MALFUNCTIONING EQUIPMENT
      5. Once the premises have been reduced to a safe level of CO the premises may be occupied- at the discretion of the owner/occupant(s).
      6. An attempt shall be made to reset the detector.
      7. Inform the owner/occupant(s) that if the detector activates again to call 9-1-1.
      8. The owner/occupant(s) shall be informed of the action that has taken place and that the gas company has been requested to respond by the Fire Department.
    9. Readings of 100 ppm or greater:
      1. Any reading of 100 ppm or greater shall be considered a potentially lethal reading.
      2. Inform the owner/occupant(s) that the Department’s CO detection equipment DID detect a potentially lethal level of CO.
      3. Order all persons to leave the premises and begin ventilation.
      4. DO NOT ATTEMPT ANY REPAIRS OR ADJUSTMENTS TO POTENTIALLY MALFUNCTIONING EQUIPMENT
      5. Once the premises have been reduced to a safe level of CO the premises may be occupied- at the discretion of the owner/occupant(s).
      6. An attempt shall be made to reset the detector.
      7. Inform the owner/occupant(s) that if the detector activates again to call 9-1-1.
      8. The owner/occupant(s) shall be informed of the action that has taken place and that the gas company has been requested to respond by the Fire Department.

Source of suggested procedure: the Hamel Volunteer Fire Department at http://www.freenet.msp.mn.us/people/guestb/sop/carbonmo.html

 

 

 

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