Owens wants to keep your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that poisons more than 20,000 people each year; killing more than 500. Everyone is at risk for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Infants, the elderly, people with chronic heart disease or breathing problems are more likely to get sick from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are:
- Dull headache
- Upset stomach
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Blurred vision
- Chest pain
People who are sleeping or intoxicated are especially susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning. They may have irreversible brain damage or even be killed before they exhibit symptoms or anyone realizes there is a problem.
- Make sure your gas appliances such as your water heater, furnace and stove are vented properly.
- Never patch a vent pipe with tape.
- Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances inspected and maintained by a qualified technician.
- Never use a gas range or oven for heating, even if the power goes out.
- Never warm-up your car or truck inside an attached garage, even with the garage door open.
- Never burn charcoal indoors or in your fireplace.
- Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors.
- Never use a portable gas camp stove indoors.
- Never use a generator inside your home, basement, or garage.
- Only purchase gas burning equipment or appliances that have the seal of a national testing agency, such as Underwriters’ Laboratories.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors are required by Law
Minn. Stat. § 299F.50 to .51 – Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Requires that every single family dwelling and every dwelling unit in a multifamily dwelling must have an approved and operational carbon monoxide alarm installed within ten feet of each room lawfully used for sleeping purposes.
Wis. Stat. Ann. § 101.647 – One- and 2-Family Dwelling Code
Requires the owner of a 1 or 2 family dwelling (not including hotels) install a carbon monoxide detector on each floor and in the basement of the dwelling, if the dwelling has an attached garage, fireplace, or a fuel-burning appliance.
What to look for when purchasing a CO detector
The most important specification to look for when purchasing a CO detector is the minimum level of CO at which an alarm will sound.
The typical carbon monoxide detector purchased at your local hardware store doesn’t alarm until 70-77 parts per million — when it may already be TOO LATE!
- The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) guidelines allow only 9 parts per million (PPM) for 8 hours of continuous exposure in a living space.
- The World Health Organization has reported that harmful effects can start with as little as 15-30 PPM.
- CO exposure at 30 ppm has been shown to harm heart patients, pregnant women, and children.
- OSHA guidelines allow only 50 PPM as the maximum concentration for 8 hours of continuous exposure for healthy adults in a work environment
We believe every home should have low-level carbon monoxide detectors that will alarm at 15 ppm.
Also, check the date of manufacture; CO detectors lose their sensitivity over time. (Expect to replace your CO detector every five years or so.)
To order a CO Detector that alarms at
15 PPM, Call Owens at 952.854.3800
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Where to install a CO detector
The State requirement can be confusing. What exactly does “within 10 feet of a sleeping area” mean? Do I need to have a CO detector in each room, or will one outside a hallway within 10 feet of two bedroom doors meet the regulation for those two rooms?
- To begin, you may want to check your county and city regulations regarding types of alarms and placement. Codes can differ from place to place.
- In general, install CO detectors on each level of your home, including the basement.
- Ideally, there should be a CO alarm within ten feet of each bedroom door.
- Install a CO alarm 15-20 feet from your furnace and hot water heater
- Do not place a CO alarm closer than 15 feet of furnace, hot water heater or gas cooking appliance to avoid false positive readings.
- Place a detector in any room situated directly above your garage and one within 10 feet of door leading from an attached garage into your home.
- Avoid placement near ceiling fans, vents, or air conditioners and keep CO alarms out of direct sunlight.
- Some industry experts believe heated air can form a layer near your ceiling which can prevent the Carbon Monoxide from reaching a ceiling detector. Therefore they recommend mounting the CO alarms on walls at least a couple of feet below the height of the ceiling. If your detector has a digital read-out, place it at eye level so it can be easily read.
Owens takes your safety very seriously. Please call us if we can help you with your CO detector, or if you would like to schedule a furnace inspection and preventive maintenance appointment.