Carbon monoxide detector are simple devices that more and more US states require in dwellings. They look like traditional smoke detectors and have a microprocessor that sends signals when CO gas is detected and sets off a shrill alarm when that happens. Some have LED lights that indicate battery status. Some are smart and can be linked to smartphones that alert you if they detect issues and notify the appropriate technicians.
When inhaled, carbon monoxide binds tightly to hemoglobin, or red blood cells, to form carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), which depletes the body of oxygen and slowly poisons it. People can’t see, smell or taste CO, so they don’t realize it’s in the air until they start to feel nausea, headache and dizziness, and the symptoms get worse. The hazard of poisoning from CO exposure is especially dangerous for infants and seniors, as well as anyone with respiratory or heart conditions.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Your Lifesaving Guardian Against the Silent Killer
Carbon monoxide detectors have different methods to gauge the presence of the deadly odorless and tasteless gas, but they all work by detecting CO molecules in the air. Some are sensitive to changes in humidity, temperature and airflow and give off a warning at the precise moment CO concentrations reach dangerously high levels. Other designs use an electrochemical sensor that consists of two electrodes, a container and an electrolyte such as sulfuric acid to produce current when CO molecules touch them. This sensor is stable against humidity and temperature fluctuations and has a very low false alarm rate.