Anyone who has ever overcooked or burned something in their kitchen is likely familiar with the sound of their smoke alarm. If you’ve been in that situation, you probably turned the alarm off, opened the windows, and safely vented the smoke out of your home. But you might be less familiar with the sound of your carbon monoxide detector – an alarm that can sometimes be the indication of something much more life-threatening. So what exactly are you supposed to do when your carbon monoxide detector starts beeping?

Why would your carbon monoxide detector be beeping?

Your CO detector is designed to alert you when it senses dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in your home’s air. Because CO is a colorless, odorless gas, a CO detector is often your only way of knowing that carbon monoxide has built up in your home. Carbon monoxide leaks are often the result of a faulty gas-burning appliance such as your furnace.

Besides the detection of high CO levels, your CO detector might also beep when it is low on batteries or has other operational problems. Be sure to read your manufacturer’s manual and familiarize yourself with the difference between the sounds.

A beeping carbon monoxide detector should be taken very seriously. If your CO detector goes off, follow these steps:

  1. Determine if you or anyone in your home is experiencing any of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion, vomiting, chest pains, or unconsciousness.
  2. If anyone is experiencing any of the symptoms above, exit your home immediately and call 9-1-1. The fire department will inspect your home and the people with CO poisoning symptoms should be treated at a hospital.
  3. If nobody in your home is experiencing the symptoms above, open the windows in your home and turn off all fuel-burning appliances including your furnace, water heater, oven, and dryer.
  4. After you’ve ventilated your home and turned off all appliances, call a qualified technician like the ones at Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning to have your heating system inspected for CO leaks.

If you have any questions about what to do when your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, or if you’d like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Louis heating and air conditioning company. We service the St. Louis area and surrounding cities like Chesterfield, Dardenne Prairie, and Manchester.

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