Here is an excellent reminder from the CDC for those who need to adjust to daylight savings this Sunday March 11, 2012: change the batteries in your CO detector.
I’ve mentioned the dangers of CO in our homes in past posts such as in Testing: more than efficiency for safety’s sake or A Bad Idea: unvented gas fire place. I suspect CO may even have an unintended influence on us after Thanksgiving dinner.
It’s a simple thing to check the batteries or maybe just test the unit as some are hardwired. It is also important to make sure your CO detector alarms at low levels of carbon monoxide. The UL standards for CO detectors start at a level of 70 PPM for a 1-2 hour exposure. Higher levels are obviously worse, but I think the lower range is just as dangerous. CO in the air robs us of oxygen and to be safe, I’d like the levels in my home to be zero.
The U.S. consumer product safety commission suggests that most folks are not affected in the low exposure ranges of 1-70 PPM. Funny because others, such as The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has established a recommended exposure limit of 35 PPM. We spend as much time if not more in our homes than on the job. This is important!
35 PPM is the same maximum level Building Performance Institute certified advisors watch out for when performing assessments on homes, but really we don’t want CO in our homes at all. As we change our clocks and the days get longer, let’s consider longer and healthier lives as well!