Carbon Monoxide – Blog 4 – Babysitter Series

Each house has key plumbing and heating items that you, (spouse too), your children, and your babysitter, should know.  What about carbon monoxide?

Now if you have a carbon monoxide (CO)detector that’s great. Their purpose is to ensure that gas fired appliances are running at safe combustion levels and not producing excess carbon monoxide that is accumulating inside the home instead of being fully vented.

What does the CO Alarm sound like?

Do you and your kids know what it sounds like?  If your children are anything like ours, once they get involved in a game, there could be a police siren right next them to them and they would tune it out.  They are usually confident it doesn’t apply to them.  Even the noises that do apply to them don’t seem to matter, like ringing phones, minute timers etc., but they do know what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do about it.  With the CO detector it should be the same. 

How to Test CO Alarm

Carbon monoxide units all have test buttons on them and its good to press and hold that button for at least 15-30 seconds to really impress on their minds that this pattern of sound is important.  The next test should be, can they hear it from everywhere in the house?  If not, it would be good to establish a list of things for the babysitter to check after she puts kids to bed and before she starts texting for the evening.  Write it down.

Is it an Emergency?

Now that they know what it sounds like, do they know what to do if they hear it?  Is it an emergency?  Always.  Carbon monoxide detectors are calibrated to go off before the average adult would experience symptoms.  Children are much more susceptible.

What to do?

We recommend the children leave the house immediately and go to the safe neighbour or friend to call for help.  Parents should call R&B, as we are equipped to attend a residence and isolate an appliance that is producing dangerous levels of CO.  Before everyone hears beeping and takes action, remember that most detectors will beep when their batteries need to be changed.  Check with the manufacturers instructions to find out the difference in warning sounds.

If you don’t have a detector, R&B offers a few good options for models and recommendations for placement.  Call today for pricing.  Remember, that it is not recommended that a CO detector be combined with a smoke detector as smoke rises, but CO doesn’t.