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Carbon Monoxide Monitoring Essential to Home Safety

A fire that erupts in the kitchen is an emergency that everyone will notice immediately, but a deadly carbon monoxide leak might go undetected until everyone in the house is sick or worse. Because this odorless, colorless gas can buildup in enclosed spaces with no warning, carbon monoxide devices should be part of a home's security monitoring services.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says around 170 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning. This figure excludes automotive-related carbon monoxide incidents.

Items that May Prove Deadly

It's easy to think a home doesn't have devices that produce carbon monoxide, but most homes will indeed have at least one or two machines that could produce the poisonous gas. Leaving a car running in a closed garage is the example most people think of when they consider how carbon monoxide poisoning occurs. However, there are several common CO-producing appliances inside the average home.

• Fireplaces
• Furnaces
• Ranges
• Room heaters
• Water heaters

In addition, just about any type of equipment that includes an engine will produce carbon monoxide fumes, which is why proper ventilation is essential during the use of any machine. A home security alarm system with CO detectors may be a lifesaver if one of those appliances malfunctions.
home security alarm system

How CO Detectors Save Lives

A CO detector is a remarkable, yet simple, device that measures the amount of CO gas in the surrounding atmosphere. The device is made up of a CO gas sensor, wires that connect to the home security alarm system, and a microchip that's the "brain" of the operation.

Essentially, if carbon monoxide is in the air, the CO detector senses it and sends a signal to the security system. In addition, a loud alarm will sound, similar to a smoke detector alarm to let occupants know that CO buildup has started to occur.

Knowing the Symptoms

Carbon monoxide buildup occurs when fuel doesn't burn completely. CO damages the body because it infiltrates the blood stream and reduces the oxygen level of the body's red blood cells. This means that vital organs around the body like the lungs, heart and brain might not get the oxygen they need to survive.

CO poisoning may cause death, but it may also cause permanent damage to the body with prolonged exposure. Minimal exposure is not as dangerous, which is why the addition of a CO detector may not only save lives, but also prevent permanent brain damage.

However, it's best not to rely solely on the detector and know common symptoms of CO poisoning. Those symptoms include:

Shortness of breath

Symptoms of extended exposure include vomiting, loss of consciousness, mental fog and potential death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that an overwhelming number of CO exposures occur in the home. Don't become another statistic. Ensure your home and family are protected with security monitoring services that include a CO detector.

Scam Artists Target Owners of Residential Security Systems: What Can You do About It?

Your home security alarm system is essential for your peace of mind. However, take precautions when it comes to home security scams—they can come in the form of a door-to-door salesmen or of deceiving deals and contracts. Heed our advice when you’re confronted with the possibility of a scam and keep the following tips in mind.

Play it Safe When Meeting with Representatives

When a representative arrives at your door and wants to talk about home security, ask for a business card and have the person wait outside. Check credentials by calling the number on the card and perform some online research before an involved conversation takes place. If you do agree to talk with a representative, have to conversation outside and do not allow them in your home. Home security professionals consider this common practice. You do not want to take any risks with someone who might be planning a home invasion. Be suspicious of anyone who hasn’t made a previous appointment to meet with you, especially if they say they need to inspect or upgrade your residential security systems—even if they claim to be from your company.

If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is

Beware of door-to-door home security alarm system representatives who promise you the moon and the stars. If they are making an offer that seems absolutely phenomenal, don’t jump on the proposition. Ask for a business card and a website. Do thorough research and investigate their claims. Whatever you do, don’t ever sign a contract on the spot. Take time to read all of the fine print and look at every angle.

Be Firm; If You’re Satisfied, Say So

If you’re pleased with your residential security systems provider, tell the competitor. Be absolutely clear about your intentions to stay with your current company. Ask the visiting representative to kindly leave or hang up the phone if you are on the receiving end of a telephone sale. If it is a legitimate company making a fair offer, sales people should still respect your wishes. If you are dealing with someone who simply won’t accept no, is harassing you, and keeps pushing the issue, a red flag should come up. Trust your gut and don’t make any changes if you are uncomfortable with the situation.

Ask For Information and Time to Reflect

Get details about the company and request time to think about the matter. Inform the representative that you will call when you are ready to discuss home security systems of interest. If the representative disobeys your wishes and continues to call you, you can complain about harassment.

Report Suspicious Behavior

If you think you may have been a target of a scam, report it to authorities and your home alarm company. Without a report, it’s hard for enforcement and security companies to do something about the threat.

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