Why Carbon Monoxide Detectors Are A Must

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gas engineer morecambeCarbon monoxide detectors are known to save lives. Highly regarded as the best home security investment one will make, carbon monoxide detectors have a different function than smoke or heat detectors. They detect the presence of carbon monoxide in the household and will trigger an alarm if it is at dangerous levels. Why is this helpful? It’s because CO is practically undetectable. The gas is tasteless, odourless and invisible. As such, you can never tell when you are already being suffocated by this lethal gas.

Where does CO come from?

Carbon Monoxide is a gas produced by improperly burned fuel. These can be commonly seen in running cars, gas ranges, furnaces, gas powered heaters, charcoal grills and wood-burning fireplaces. If any of these devices or facilities perform an incomplete combustion and is located in an area with poor ventilation, carbon monoxide can accumulate and reach lethal levels. By installing a CO detector, you can be alerted to rising levels of this vile, invisible gas.

Types of CO detectors

Three basic types of CO detectors exist in the market. These are namely electrochemical, semiconductor and biomimetic.

Electrochemical

This type of detector checks for the presence of CO in the air by tracking the internal electrical current of the surroundings. When slight changes in these currents are caused by the presence of carbon monoxide, the alarm will sound. Electrochemical detectors utilize sensor electrodes coupled with a chemical solution to detect such changes. Due to their adeptness at detecting lethal levels of CO and lengthy battery lifespan of at least 5 years, electrochemical detectors have gained a great reputation and are highly recommended.

Semiconductor

Semiconductor detectors were the first to be invented among the 3. They work similarly to electrochemical detectors in the sense that they monitor electric current changes. However, they don’t utilize chemical solutions like the former. Instead, it has a semiconductor that is typically made of tin dioxide. This semiconductor suffers a lower resistance brought about by electrical current change whenever it comes into contact with carbon monoxide. Whenever an increase is detected, the alarm is triggered instantly. Although it is pretty outdated, it is still considered a great choice as it doesn’t require any maintenance.

Biomimetic

These type of CO detectors are internally fitted with a gel pack containing synthetic haemoglobin. The gel pack has the capability to absorb carbon monoxide. When it does so, the haemoglobin reacts by changing colour. Sensors are readily available to react to any change in colour of the haemoglobin. Once detected, the alarm is sounded right away.

Although it sounds pretty high tech, there have been incidents of false alarms caused by biomimetic detectors. This is because contaminants can accumulate in the gel pack thus triggering the sensor. For best results, the gel pack of these detectors should be replaced every 2-3 years.

Biomimetic detectors utilize batteries and are known to last up to 10 years.

We recommend installing a audible carbon monoxide alarm and our choice would be from Honeywell.

bad-mounting-300x225Where are these detectors installed?

It has become a common practice for households to have one carbon monoxide detector per floor. This also includes the basement and the attic. These detectors should be installed around 10 feet away from bedrooms so that they can be heard from easily. Likewise, it is also advised to have these placed near any devices that burn fuel such as heaters and furnaces.

As a general rule, it is also wise to contact your local energy department and also your gas provider prior to installing any CO detector. Also, be sure to always heed the installation guide and troubleshooting tips provided by the manufacturer.

What power source to select?

CO detectors can be powered in various ways. These are namely via battery, 12v/24v and 120v power sources.

Batteries

Batteries are rather convenient as they allow you to use your device without any cords protruding from it. However, when the batteries on these detectors run low, they do beep annoyingly until these are replaced. For homes that have grown accustomed to serene surroundings, this may not bode well for the residents. As batteries need to be replaced on a yearly basis, it is prone to being forgotten. In fact, some people remove the batteries altogether especially when they don’t have replacements on hand and the beeping noise gets annoying. When this happens, the household then becomes at risk of being overcome by CO gas due to the lack of a round-the-clock detector.

12v/24v

This type of connector refers to that in typical household security panels. These are usually regarded as the best choice as security systems that monitor your household also have the capability to monitor your monitoring devices. With this in place, you can easily tell if one of your detectors has malfunctioned. Likewise, security systems also have the dial out functionality. This means that if there is any security breach, the proper authorities are contacted right away. This functionality can also be extended to your CO detectors if needed. As soon as dangerous levels are detected, you can opt to have local authorities informed of the situation as well.

120v

This type of power source is the most common among households. They are better than batteries in most ways. Although they do lose monitoring capabilities when the power is out, they do come with backup batteries for such events. Also, unlike battery operated detectors, they will not suffer a degradation of performance whenever the source runs low. Plus, they won’t spam you with incessant beeping until you replace the internal battery.

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What To Do If You Smell Gas

If you were around Oldham in Greater Manchester last June 26, 2012, you probably heard of the 2012 Oldham explosion. Even if you weren’t, I’m sure you’ve heard of the news or saw the Wikipedia article on it. It was a pretty devastating incident that caused the death of a 2-year old kid and caused over a million pounds worth of damage. The cause of this event was a gas leak and the perpetrator was a then 27 year old man who has since been charged with manslaughter.

 

It seems horrific but such tragic events can ensue if we fail to report or detect gas leaks. Even the slightest hint should set off an instant alarm and action should be taken at once. Here are some tips to keep in mind for such an occasion.

 

  1. Refrain from using naked flames or smoking near gas leaks. Even the tiniest of sparks is enough to cause an explosion.
  2. Be sure you inform your neighbours and other people in the immediate area. They are directly affected and should be made aware of such hazards.gas rrepair morecambe
  3. Call the National Grid Emergency Service at 0800 111 999 and you will be directed to their call centre. They are open round the clock and can immediately assist you. Just be sure you are ready with pertinent information such as your address or the location of the suspected leak, how many people are potentially at risk, how long you’ve noticed the smell as well as your name and contact number. Having these at hand will make your conversation with them all the more quicker which can result in faster action.
  4. When you’re ready to evacuate, open all the doors and windows. This will allow the gas to leave the affected area thus minimizing the damage caused by a subsequent explosion.
  5. Contact your gas supplier and inform them about the leak. They’ll be able to turn off the supply from their end and also give you advice on how to proceed.
  6. Switch off the device or appliance that you suspect is causing the leak. Avoid using it until it has been deemed safe by a registered engineer.
  7. Double check the head count to ensure everyone has vacated the premises. Not everyone may have been able to smell the gas and sense the danger.
  8. Turn off the gas at the main switch. It should stop any further leaks.
  9. In the event that you or someone close by feels faint or ill, seek medical assistance right away. Carbon monoxide poisoning is dangerous and can cause minor damage if remedied as soon as possible.

We hope you take all these tips seriously. They work for premises of all sizes. As long as you keep these in mind, gas leaks won’t escalate to fatal accidents.


Signs Your Boiler Needs Repair

Being in the cold for prolonged periods of time can be detrimental to one’s health. For households that are visited by the cold weather regularly, having a boiler around helps a lot. However, you should always be sure that the boiler isn’t showing any signs of breaking down. This is easily done by regularly maintaining it and calling specialists whenever minor problems ensue. By doing so, you ensure the boiler’s longevity and also spare yourself hefty expenses in the long run.

 

A boiler bogging down on you in the middle of the night is the last thing you want to happen. Not only will it ruin the environment for your family, it will also cost tons to get it repaired. Worse, if it is cold season and you can’t afford to wait for repairs, you might end up buying an entirely new one. Here are some of the telltale signs that your boiler needs attention.

 

boiler repair morecambeOff Smells

Weird smells brought about by heater usage should be brought to the attention of professionals right away. Gas leaks instantly come to mind and that is a very serious problem to deal with. Leaving this unchecked is not advised as you can get engulfed in carbon monoxide rather quickly. As nobody can see, smell or feel CO, you should get tests done or install detectors in your home. Prolonged exposure to the gas can result in numerous complications and can even be fatal.

 

High Energy Bill

This would mean that the boiler is not anymore as efficient as it should be. Because it can’t reach its full potential or it takes longer to do so, this will result in higher energy costs. Problems such as this usually warrant immediate replacement. If you are hesitant to do so, you can hire a professional to take a look at it as well. They will be able to advise you on the remaining lifespan of your boiler and whether it is better to have it repaired or replaced.

 

boiler repair lancasterWeird Noises

As with any device that has mechanical parts, they should not have any weird noises. Otherwise, it is safe to assume something is amiss. Be sure you are aware of your heater’s regular sound. That way, you’d know if something was off when it sounds differently. Hissing sounds would mean that there are iron deposits or sludge lodged inside. These would cause an uneven distribution of water that can cause the boiler to overheat or shutdown. On the other hand, a change in the furnace’s sounds would indicate a problem with certain internal components.

 

Appearance of Puddles

Puddles of water would obviously mean a leak in the machine. Leaks make it harder for the boiler to continuously offer heat as there are losses along the way. A repairman should be called right away to alleviate the problem and save on energy costs as well as to prevent further damage to the boiler.