Carbon Monoxide in The Home — A Hidden Danger!

Carbon monoxide (CO) is harmful because it deprives the heart, brain, and other vital organs of oxygen. Large amounts of CO can overcome a person in minutes, causing them to lose consciousness and suffocate. Since CO has no odor, color, or taste, it cannot be detected by the senses. This means that dangerous concentrations of the gas can build up indoors and humans cannot detect the problem until they become ill. Furthermore, the early symptoms of CO poisoning are like the flu, which can cause victims to ignore the signs. The most common symptoms felt are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

Per the CDC, each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized. 

 

What are the potential sources of CO in your home?

Homes with fuel-burning appliances or attached garages are more likely to have CO accumulation problems. Some common sources of CO are:

  • Clothes dryers
  • Water heaters
  • Furnaces
  • Fireplaces, both gas, and wood-burning
  • Gas stoves and ovens
  • Motor vehicles
  • Grills, generators, power tools, lawn equipment
  • Wood stoves
  • Tobacco smoke

When appliances and vents work properly and there is enough fresh air in your home to allow complete combustion, the trace amounts of CO remaining are safely vented outside your home. Problems occur when an appliance malfunctions. For example, a furnace heat exchanger cracks, vents clog, or debris blocks the chimney or flue.

What can you do to ensure the safety of your family, pets, and friends?

  • Install a CO alarm as recommended by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA). Install a battery-operated or a plugin alarm with battery back-up on every level of the home – including the basement. Consider buying a detector with a digital readout. This detector can tell you the highest level of CO concentration in your home. Check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall and replace your CO detector every five years.
  • Inspect the pilot lights on natural gas appliances to ensure that the flame is blue. When a flame is mostly yellow, it likely is producing CO.
  • When you buy gas equipment, buy only equipment carrying the seal of a national testing agency, such as Underwriters’ Laboratories, and have it serviced by a qualified technician each year.
  • Make sure your gas appliances are vented properly. Horizontal vent pipes for appliances, such as a water heater, should angle up slightly. This prevents CO from leaking even if the joints or pipes don’t fit tightly.
  • If you have a fireplace, have your chimney checked or cleaned every year. Chimneys can be partially blocked by debris and this can cause CO to build up inside your home.
  • Don’t use outdoor equipment inside – like chemical heaters, camp stoves, or charcoal grills.
  • Never use a generator inside your home, basement, or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent.
  • Never leave a car running in a garage — even for a couple of minutes with the overhead garage door open.

Protecting your Family 24/7 —  Monitored CO detection

Adding a monitored CO detector outside the bedrooms ensures that the fire department will be called — even if everyone is asleep or drowsy due to the lack of oxygen. When notified of a CO leak, the fire department will react differently than if responding to a smoke alarm and the home will be searched for non-responsive individuals.

A Secur-Tek security system has a backup battery to maintain security and detection for 20-24 hours if fully charged during the event of a power failure. Your keypad will display when the battery needs to be replaced. For instructions on changing battery: Frequently Asked Questions about Home Security Systems (secur-tek.com)

Secur-Tek, Inc. gives you total confidence that your family is protected from CO poisoning 24/7, and we can also design, install, and monitor specialized monitoring systems to fit your specific needs.

Examples include:

  • Monitoring Children – If you have teenagers or children old enough to be home alone, remote access will allow you to be notified when they get home from school. You can use specialized security codes for each child as well as babysitters and view activity in the interior and exterior of your home for extra peace of mind.
  • Monitoring Elderly Parents – If you need to monitor an elderly parent, you can be notified when they get up out of bed, open the medicine cabinet or when there is no activity in the home.
  • Keeping an eye on Pets – Our technicians will put the cameras in places so you can check in on your pets. Temporary security codes for pet sitters will help give you greater peace of mind that your pet is doing okay.  
  • Detecting Water Leaks – When you are not home, even a slow leak can cause serious flooding and expensive damage.  Adding a water leak detector so you will be alerted if this happens can minimize the damage.  Our monitored smart system can even turn off a water shutoff to minimize damage.

Quality Monitoring

 For monitoring services, Secur-Tek partners with Affiliated Monitoring, a leader in the safety and security monitoring industry.

Affiliated Monitoring is certified by the following organizations:

  • CSAA Five Diamond Certified – The Monitoring Association Five Diamond Certificate signifies compliance and assurance that an alarm system has followed guidelines established by best-industry practice. The certificate recognizes best practices utilizing existing standards.
  • UL Listed — UL listed monitoring centers use the most up-to-date technologies.  UL is the trusted resource across the globe for product safety certification and compliance solutions. The UL Certificate is proof that Affiliated’s listed alarm systems meet the stringent standards of the UL.
  • IQ Certified – The IQ (Installation Quality) Certification Program gives consumers a way to identify alarm companies that are committed to providing them with high-quality security and life safety systems.

For more information, please call us at (919) 387-1800 or scroll down and use the form below.

Deck the Halls …. With a Security System?

Helping to Make Your Holiday Season Safe and Worry-Free!

The holidays are just around the corner and it’s a wonderful time of year! It’s a time to see friends, family or go on that nice relaxing vacation you’ve been looking forward to all year.

When traveling or staying home hosting visitors, have you ever been distracted by worries of safety and security?  Whether having packages delivered, wondering the garage door is closed, if the pet sitter remembered to feed the pets, or if a burglar “cased” our property and targeted our home – these thoughts can creep into our minds and detract from the joys of the season.

A smart home security system is a great way to control and monitor your home from a distance. Secur-Tek, Inc offers Skybell video doorbells and automated systems by Honeywell and Control 4 that can help to alleviate worries so you can enjoy your holiday.

Property damage:

            When you’re home, small problems like a leaky hot water heater are fairly easy to see and deal with. Leave home for a few days and even a slow leak can cause serious flooding and expensive damage. Or an open window could make your heater run continuously for the duration of your trip. With a monitored system installed by Secur-Tek, you will know if anything is going wrong at your property. We can warn you if you need to call a repair service or turn your thermostat down until the window is closed. Our smart system can even turn off a water shutoff to minimize damage. 

In addition, gas and smoke detectors can also be linked to your security system to maximize the protection for your family, property, and pets while at home or away. These detectors can notify authorities when there is an alarm condition as well as sounding an alert inside your home.

Package Thefts:

            Concerned about your online shopping being left on the doorstep while you are away? You should be: as well as being a target for porch pirates (see our blog https://secur-tek.com/beware-of-porch-pirates/ ) a package indicates that no one is home when potential thieves check out the neighborhood. For peace of mind, a doorbell or entryway camera can verify a delivery with one-way video. A smart security system can unlock your front door so a neighbor or authorized deliveryman can put the package inside. Once they’ve left your package inside, you can lock up again and relax. (See our blog on Doorbell cameras – uses and criteria: https://secur-tek.com/the-rundown-on-doorbell-cameras/

Pet monitoring – Is Fluffy OK?:

Ever wonder if your pet-sitter or neighbor remembered to feed, walk and play with your pets? How will you know? And what if they can’t get in? No worries: just give your pet caretaker a temporary security code so they can enter when needed. This dedicated code unlocks your door and can alert you when your sitter uses it. Should they lose or forget the code, you can always unlock the door yourself with your security app. If you want to see how or what your cute little pet is doing, (or what mischief the cat got into today) add cameras to your security system. Secur-Tek’s technician will put the cameras in places so you can check in on your pets and see for yourself!

Home Security:

Finally, as you travel about on the holidays, you can be assured your property is protected if a burglar should target your home. With a cost-effective Secur-Tek customized security system that monitors 24/7, it will notify the security professionals at our monitoring center, who immediately alerts your local police and fire department for you. This ensures a quick response to minimize any loss or damage if an unfortunate incident should happen.  

Smart home security is the way to eliminate many of the worries that creep into our minds during the holidays. Remote access allows you to be notified, view and control activity in the interior or exterior of your home at any time.

So have a happy and safe holiday season this season, while Secur-Tek takes care of your property, pets, and home.

For more information on the Security System that is right for you, please call or visit our website.

Security & Home Automation