Some dangers in this world are visible, but others may sneak past your senses and affect your health without you knowing it. This is the case of carbon monoxide poisonings, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says has caused hundreds of deaths and thousands of emergency room visits.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be prevented, and one of the best preventive measures is installing a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide poisoning may increase the risk of headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, and cause a general feeling of weakness. Having appropriate prevention techniques can protect you from experiencing these symptoms of CO poisoning, as they are often associated with many other sicknesses and the source can be hard to identify.

If you’re not yet familiar with this device, here are three important bits of information about the carbon monoxide detector:

Carbon monoxide detectors have a specific purpose.

Comparing it with other types of alarm devices, a carbon monoxide detector measures the level of CO in the atmosphere of the room where it is placed. When the air approaches the critical CO limit, the device alarm gets triggered.

When used properly, CO detectors alert the people inside the facility about the low CO level. This should prompt the people to either evacuate from the area or introduce better ventilation.

Carbon monoxide detectors are different from carbon monoxide fire detectors.

While carbon monoxide detectors determine the presence of the invisible gas in the room where it is installed, fire detectors check the level of CO in the atmosphere to anticipate a fire outbreak.

Choosing the right CO detector requires careful research.

If you plan to buy a CO detector for your home or office, you need to check the following factors:

  • The detector should carry a voluntary UL standard 2034 certification.
  • Choose between battery-operated or electric CO detectors.
  • Opt for quality over cost. You don’t want to use a cheap detector only for it to fail in a real low-CO scenario.

Using the device correctly reduces the risk of panic and leads people to safety.

Carbon monoxide poisoning may be too big of a problem to solve. But with the availability of carbon monoxide detectors, we can all breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that we’re making steps to protect ourselves from this silent killer.