Installing a carbon monoxide (CO) detector in both commercial and residential buildings is extremely important, as it indicates the presence of the odorless, colorless, tasteless, and fatal gas. An effective detector will sound an alarm or siren to alert those inside and warn them to leave the premises as quickly as possible.
To ensure a CO detector works, the owner must remember to have the device inspected periodically. Some people may notice their CO detector beeping, or chirping, every half minute or so.
This could be one of two things.
If a carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it could mean carbon monoxide is present or the battery has a low charge, and therefore, the device itself should be replaced.
As aforementioned, carbon monoxide could be fatal. CO detectors are meant to protect people from this dangerous gas. Incessant chirping should encourage occupants to leave the residence immediately—because carbon monoxide may be present—and contact fire emergency professionals who can assess the property.
Remember, as described on New York State's official website, "CO poisons the body primarily by preventing the body from getting the oxygen it needs. When CO is breathed in, it attaches to hemoglobin, the molecule that normally carries oxygen in the blood. As more CO is breathed in, more CO attaches to hemoglobin and less oxygen can be delivered throughout the body."
The national health organization American Association of Poison Control Centers offers a 24/7 medical advice via phone—1-800-222-1222—or internet—Poisonhelp.org. This doesn’t just include CO cases, but other potentially fatal incidences, as well. Nausea, chest pain, dizziness and shortness of breath are all warning signs to be on the lookout for.
Although some CO detectors have replaceable batteries, many modern units now have 10-year sealed lithium batteries that cannot be replaced. As a result, this is another reason the device may begin to beep—because it's near the end of its lifespan.
Users have the option of purchasing a new safety system from a reputable security company and then installing it themselves. However, it may be wise to contact said company to set it up for them instead, depending on the specific unit and its complexity—some being more difficult to set up than others.
Either way, remember to keep track of how old a CO detector is, as well as regularly test and have the unit inspected by a professional, to ensure you know approximately when it’s time to upgrade.
General Security not only provides smoke and CO detectors to our clients, but also offers installation, inspection and fire alarm monitoring services to ensure the device is working properly at all times.