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How to test for Carbon Monoxide in Your Home

Carbon monoxide within homes is a dangerous thing. You need to protect your family from this menace. Primarily, you need to ensure that it does not enter your home. Besides this, you need to install at least one CO detector in your home to protect yourself. This colorless and odorless gas is a silent killer. You cannot see, taste or smell it. It therefore affects you even before you know of its presence. Even a bit of exposure is a serious health hazard. It rapidly accumulates in the blood, depleting the ability of blood to carry oxygen.

The burning of wood, kerosene, coal and charcoal produce CO. Gasoline engines produce CO. CO production is at a maximum during the startup of a cold engine. Starting and then idling your car or gas mower in the garage can be dangerous. The fumes that contain CO can enter a home through connecting walls or doorways and can quickly rise to dangerous levels.

You really ought to be aware of this dangerous situation-safety becomes an important issue in the context of carbon monoxide. The good thing is that you can detect the presence of this gas in your home through a detector. It's an easy process that can be done in thirty minutes. All you need to do is to purchase a passive CO test kit referred to as a detector badge from a hardware or building supply store. Here is how you can conduct the test.

Start off by writing the date of the test on the front of the test badge. Place the test badge near the location where you suspect or are concerned about emissions of CO gas. For example, it could be your furnace room, your fireplace or the garage. Try to place the badge away from exposure to certain elements. These include direct sunlight, ammonia, solvents and cleaners. When you are checking for CO, you will notice that within a matter of fifteen minutes the badge will darken if it detects any carbon monoxide. Even if the badge changes color just slightly, consider it an issue worth looking into. Once you notice that the color on the badge has changed, you need to find the cause, locate the source of the emission and take immediate steps to rectify the problem. However, in the event that no CO is detected, you can then safely leave the badge in place for 60 - 90 days. Just follow the instructions by the manufacturer.

It's really very simple to conduct this test for detecting carbon monoxide in your home. You just need to remember that you must keep the badge away from ammonia, solvents and cleaners. These may hamper the process and prevent an accurate reading. So all you really need is to install a passive carbon monoxide detector badge and you'll significantly increase your chances of safety.


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