Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that is the by-product of the combustion of gasoline, diesel, oil, coal, wood and natural and propane gases; the typical “fossil” fuels. Carbon Monoxide is poisonous to the human body and, in sufficient concentrations, can cause serious injury or death.
The potential for carbon monoxide gas exposure exists in your home, car and workplace; in your children’s school and your church; in stores and restaurants you patronize; on planes, buses and boats; in hospitals, theaters and office buildings; anywhere fossil fuels are used to heat and power buildings, equipment and especially engines.
The potential for carbon monoxide exposure is typically higher in the winter because people spend more time indoors with the windows closed. However, there is still a danger in the warmer months because windows and doors stay closed due to running air conditioners. You may not be using natural gas to heat your home, but what about your gas water heater or stove? Sitting in a closed running vehicle can be dangerous not matter the outside temperature.
The key to safety from carbon monoxide gas exposure is awareness. Be alert to the potential sources of CO wherever you happen to be. In your home, make sure your gas appliances are clean and in good working order; inspect vents and duct work for leaks or blockages; use carbon monoxide gas detection devices where appropriate.
Ask about the safety precautions, to protect against CO exposure, that are in use where you work, at your children’s school, in your church and other places you frequent. Use carbon monoxide detector badges to foster an awareness of potential carbon monoxide exposure and as an indicator of CO gas in the vicinity.
CO detector badges have an adhesive strip on the back and can be mounted almost anywhere in your home or office. The CO detector badge contains an orange-reddish sensor in the middle and changes color to dark red, gray and black in the presence of carbon monoxide. The detector badges should be mounted on the instrument panel of your vehicle including cars, boats, planes, forklifts and near gasoline powered electrical generators. Because of the engine noise inside of plane and boat cockpits, a detector badge mounted on the instrument panel may be the only effective way to detect CO gas as an audible alarm may not be able to be heard.
Also, if you plan to use a gasoline powered generator during power outages caused by hurricanes, snow storms, etc., be sure to have several detector badges located around your home or building to have a visible indicator of CO gas in the area.
Employees who work in areas where fossil fuels are used should attach a CO detector badge to a badge clip an affix them to their shirt, blouse, jacket, vest, etc. A list of types of companies that use or should use CO detector badges follows:
- Mining Companies
- Airlines and Airports
- Marinas and Shipping Companies
- Distribution and Shipping Companies
- Factories and Office Buildings
- Home Inspectors and Real Estate Agents
- HVAC Technicians, Plumbers, Electricians
- Marketing, Promotional Companies
- Magazine and Other Publishers
- Charitable Organizations
- Hospitals, Schools, Churches, Auditoriums, Public Facilities, etc.
- Government and Military Installations
Employees should be trained to periodically look at their detector and the detectors of their coworkers to make sure the detector sensor has not changed color, which indicates the presence of carbon monoxide gas. The carbon monoxide detectors have a shelf life of two to three years in the unopened cellophane package. Once opened, they are effective for 90 days. If activated by CO gas, they can be reused by placing the detector in fresh air for a few minutes until the sensor has returned to the orange-reddish color.
Carbon monoxide detector badges are an inexpensive way to promote awareness of CO gas and indicate its presence in the area. The detector badges are effective and easy to use, for even the youngest children. CO detector badges should be used in every area where fossil fuels are used to guard against this silent killer that can snatch a life without the victim even being aware of what is happening to them.
You may save yourself, your loved ones, employees or customers by implementing a complete carbon monoxide safety plan and including CO detector badges as part of the basic safety equipment. Visit Carbon Monoxide Safety for more information and Carbon Monoxide Safety Products to begin ensuring your home, building or vehicle is safe from CO gas.