Carbon monoxide detector might be more important than a smoke detector.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Oggie, Jan 5, 2007.

  1. Oggie

    Oggie Waste of bandwidth Supporter

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    Four family members in Washington state were found dead. They had no power and were running a generator in the garage.

    We just replaced the batteries in our CO detector. CO scares me more than smoke. With smoke, I might wake up in time to get the family out of the house. With CO, you just snooze on.

    I know that folks do things they shouldn't with gas-powered equipment and charcoal heaters. That should be avoided.

    But there are times that I worry that I might be just one defective flue away from the big slumber.
     
  2. freeinalaska

    freeinalaska Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree. Though I wouldn't do without both, I will wake up with the smell of smoke while CO doesn't smell. An aquaintance of ours lost his 19 y/o son from CO in a rental he was the manager of.
     

  3. Oggie

    Oggie Waste of bandwidth Supporter

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    We have both. They're on the ceiling in the hall less than 20 feet from the doors to the rooms in which we sleep.
     
  4. Drizler

    Drizler Well-Known Member

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    Believe me if you are dead asleep you won't be bothered enough by smoke until you start gagging to wake you . Its possible but nothing to rely on. By the time you wake up you won't even smell it though its so thick you can't see your toes. There is so much of it and you get so used to it that it ceases to register as a smell. In fact when it happened to us no one could figure out why we couldn't see right. Weird. CO is the same way. It may be colorless and odorless but the source of its origin isn't so you can smell it and the sensations are very clear as well. You can often taste it as well, at least I can. Trouble is the mimic winter colds and congestion and once again you won't notice at all if you are asleep. Both of these detectors are an absolute must if you have anything but electric heat. Running a gen set in a garage is a classic way to get killed, right up there with doing wiring on a metal ladder standing in water. Darwin was right.
     
  5. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Yep,neighbor almost died fromCO.Enough for me,got a detector.We then had a flue slip down and open up.
    Yup,that detector went off.Sure it saved our lives.

    I have the nighthawk with digital readout,plugs in wall with battery backup.

    And they are cheap too,I paid less than 50,can get em for 30 nowadays.

    BooBoo :gromit:
     
  6. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have both fire and CO detectors at the house and the condo. It'd be a bummer to wake up dead.
     
  7. Silvercreek Farmer

    Silvercreek Farmer Living the dream. Supporter

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    Both are very important! I second the remark that relying on the smell of smoke to wake you is foolish. Thanks for the reminder on the CO dectector though, we bought our house with electric heat and didn't have a CO detector, I put in a woodstove and have not put one in yet, I will do it this weekend! I have thought about it before but just never gotten around to it. Just as a reminder what to watch out for here is a list of CO poisoning symptoms: Headache, nausea, confusion, sleepyness, dark circles under eyes, flushed face. First aid: get victim out side into fresh air, call 911. CO binds very tightly to red blood cells, so even after being moved into fresh air the victim may still need further care to prevent brain damage. Fully (massive airflow not just a cracked window) ventilate any enclosed area where you might be running an internal combustion engine, and watch out when idleing vehicles/equipment in a stationary position for extended periods, or if they have old leaking exaust systems. You can't be too safe with CO! I worked with a fellow that insisted on using a weed burning torch to heat construction materials inside a closed space, he would come out half dead from CO every time!
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    You need both, and properly located. Cheapest real life insurance out there. An upstairs and downstairs fire extinguisher is well worth the cost too.
     
  9. highlands

    highlands Well-Known Member

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    This happened to a father and son in Maine just recently. Again a generator, in their basement. A carbon monoxide alarm is not the solution to stupidity. :(
     
  10. Trixie

    Trixie Well-Known Member

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    We have both in our travel trailer, also a LP detector.

    Even with the detector, we don't run the butane furnace when we are asleep.

    If it is cold enough to need heat, we use the electric heater.
     
  11. KCM

    KCM Well-Known Member

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    We have SD's and COD's in our main home up north and in our secondary home down south.
    We also have them in both our Minnesota cabins and in our Vermont cabin, as well as all four of our California farms and in our two Montana ranches.
    Plus we have them in our nine New York apartments and our two North Carolina condo's.
    And have them in our motor homes, our travel trailer, and our 5th wheel.
    Not only that, but the barns and the doghouses have them too.
    By Golly, we recently even put them in the outhouse.
    You know you just can't have too many.
    We have so many that we are considering buying the companies that make them.
    :cool: :hobbyhors :p :help: :rolleyes: :duel: :happy: :rotfl:

    Seriously, we have SD's and COD's in each bedroom of our home, and in each of our two hallways (upstairs and downstairs). We have one SD in the basement but no COD there.
    We also keep fire extinguishers in the kitchen, the laundry room, the basement, and each hallway. And we still have a rope ladder secured to one window of each upstair bedroom.


    Not sure why anyone would want the kind of SD's that run on ac-current though. I recall reading a study somewhere that said some people get a false sense of security with the ac-current ones and are more apt not to keep the batteries fresh.
     
  12. Highground

    Highground Well-Known Member

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    CO detector saved my sisters life a few weeks ago.
    It went off and she reset it. It went off again. She called the fire department and they came and took some air readings. The readings were so high they opened all the doors and windows in the house to air it out.
    They found the problem in the attached garage. Seems she was in such a hurry to get to the bathroom, she left it running and forgot about it. It died with gas still in the tank from lack of oxygen.
    Without those detectors, she would have gone to bed and to sleep forever.

    NEVER LEAVE A KEY IN THE IGNITION. :nono:
     
  13. RachAnn in NW Okla

    RachAnn in NW Okla Well-Known Member

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    We had this happen but in our case I had left the OVEN on like all day.....just forgot to turn it off when I removed the baked item.......

    the CO detector went off....we reset it....it went off almost directly after....we put fresh batteries in it...we didnt even get it back on the wall before it went off again....we instantly opened both doors and all windows THEN looked for the source....once the oven was turned off we went out to Walmart to let the house air out....came back and all was fine....

    So very glad we had the detector....I would have never purchased one for that house but the apt. that we lived in before had a gas free-standing heater that looked like it wasnt vented properly and to be safe I made DH help pick a nice CO detector and we put it in the same room with that heater.....it NEVER went off....

    now we have a 2-story house and that detector is in our bedroom and we bought a new one for downstairs....I will never be without one as my ex step-dad (he and mom had been divorced for many years) was found dead in an apt because of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

    Rachel
     
  14. thedonkeyman

    thedonkeyman Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't have beleived it but we purchased one of those ORECK Air cleaners and it works. We keep it on low all the time, as we have wood heat.
     
  15. Beltane

    Beltane Enjoying Four Seasons

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    I have been worrying about CO as well because of everything that has been in the news....so I think I might go out and purchase a CO detector this weekend. DH said that he doesn't believe we have any need to worry because our home is so 'non-air tight'. I donno though...better safe than sorry. Thanks for posting.
     
  16. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Get one, it doesn't matter how "air tight" you home is. I had mine go off when the spark arrestor cap got clogged (Burning coal, nasty stuff) and I was extremely happy to have had the CO detector.
     
  17. willowbarnfarm

    willowbarnfarm Member

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    Just wondering, does it matter if they are placed high or low? We have ours plugged in to the wall, unobstructed of course, but its not up near our smoke detectors. I was under the impression they should be low to the ground, not up high like the smoke detectors, however my mother in law swears they are supposed to be up high. Ours did go off once, had an issue with our coal stove, and let me tell ya, scared the crap out of me-those things are LOUD.
     
  18. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Mines in the hall upstairs and detected the CO from the stove downstairs.

    They usually plug into a wall socket.
     
  19. Zipporah

    Zipporah Well-Known Member

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    A few years back dh asked me what I wanted for Christmas and for some reason I said I wanted a Carbon Monoxide detector.He bought one and put it up.That night I was feeling very sleepy and thought I was coming down with the flu.Put the children to bed and went to soak in the tub.I kept nodding off in the water and thought I heard a smoke alarm go off.Next thing I knew dh was throwing open the window the fire department was there and we were being pulled into the yard.My heat exchange had cracked and filled the house with Carbon Monoxide.If not for the alarm we'd all be dead.I always have one now.
     
  20. Drizler

    Drizler Well-Known Member

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    I can't cite the soruce but there was a recent study of mortality for folks who got gassed and recover. Later down the road and not all that far either there comes to be what amounts to nearly a 50% mortality rate from heart attack. Across the fuzzy memory I seem to remember that the numbers were heavily loaded with very young people even kids who died in their 40's from this with no obvious preexisting disposition to heart disease. Thats one hell of a figure. The lesson is simple, don't get gassed period. I think I read this within the last 2 years or so.