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Are Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors Working?

In a home that uses a gas furnace for heating, it’s necessary to take some extra safety precautions before turning the furnace on for winter. One of the most important of these precautions is checking your carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they’re working.

The Need for Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas produced as a byproduct of combustion. It is extremely toxic, and in the right concentration, it can cause serious health problems or even death.

When your gas furnace burns natural gas to generate heat, it also produces carbon monoxide. This gas is usually removed from your home, but if there is a problem with the furnace or ventilation system, the CO can be released indoors. This creates a situation in which any human or animal in the home is in immediate danger.

Since human senses can’t detect carbon monoxide, mechanical devices such as CO detectors must be used. They can sense the gas and provide an alarm to give you enough time to get to safety.

Checking and Testing Carbon Monoxide Detectors

  • Inspect the detector: Give the detector a visual check to make sure it’s undamaged and that all parts, including the cover, are there. It should be tightly attached to the wall or ceiling.
  • Test the device: Press the test button (usually found on the face of the detector) and hold it until the alarm sounds. If the alarm does not sound briefly, change the batteries and try it again. If the alarm still doesn’t go off when you press the test button, replace the entire detector unit.
  • Change the batteries: It is usually a good idea to put new batteries in the detector at the beginning of heating season even if the test was successful. This ensures fresh batteries are in place and reduces the possibility of battery failure during the winter months.

Arpi’s Industries Ltd. provides top-quality professional plumbing, heating, and cooling services throughout Calgary and the neighboring communities. Contact us today for more information on carbon monoxide detectors and how to make sure they’re working properly.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about TOPIC and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Leena_Robinson./Shutterstock”