In New York, on February 4, 2003, the New York State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council voted to revise the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code to establish standards for the installation and maintenance of carbon monoxide alarms in certain buildings. The Code Council adopted this revision on an emergency basis, with an effective date of March 6, 2003. Since then, they have become mandatory in all residential structures in the State of New York. And, it is my guess, though I am not sure, that this must by now be code in all 50 States.
These laws that have brought Carbon Monoxide Alarms to residential structures have, no doubt, saved thousands of lives over the past years. In fact, today most kids would be amazed that the Carbon Monoxide Detector wasn’t as common as the Smoke or Fire Alarm.
However, this Blog is to make the point that of which many people aren’t aware. I certainly was not.
CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS HAVE AN ANTICPITATED LIFE OF ABOUT 7 YEARS.
A radio advertisement from a carbon monoxide alarm company just reminded me of the scare we had in our house recently. Late last winter, my family had been home for some hours and one of my daughters had been complaining of an upset stomach and had said, “I just don’t feel well, my stomach hurts, and I’m exhausted.” This was unusual for a kid who plays soccer or some sport six or seven days a week, and is in great shape. We figured she was getting sick.
Then - the CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR started beeping. What would you do? We changed the batteries, and it continued to beep. One of us then took her to the emergency room, we sent everyone else out of the house, and I turned off the gas at the entrance to the house. I opened every window, turned on every ceiling fan, turned on a few other fans and waited. The alarm continue to beep about once every 30-seconds or so. I finally went online and looked up the owner’s manual. And what did I find? The fact that the Carbon Monoxide Detector had a manufacturer’s intended useful life of about seven years. It also explained that a single beep every 30-seconds would mean that the unit’s sensor was finished – caput – no mas – finito – dead!
Wow. I thanked God, called my wife and told her it was OK to leave the emergency room, closed the windows, closed the doors, cranked up the heat and went out to the store and bought three new Carbon Monoxide detectors.
If you don’t have one or more (depending on the circumstances) and you live in a building where fossil fuels are burned, get one. Don’t complain to your landlord, don’t grumble, just get one. If you have one that is six years old or older, I would suggest you avoid a scare and get a new one anyway. You don’t want to wait for a scare like this. Winter is coming. Be ready and update your Carbon Monoxide Detector. While you are at it – put new batteries in your smoke and fire detectors. Best wishes for a healthy, safe winter.