When the alarm goes off, know your best escape path, get all of the occupants to fresh air, then call 911. You will not see it, smell it, or feel it right away, but if inhaled in sufficient concentrations, this poison can cause headache, dizziness, drowsiness, vomiting, collapse, and death.
It is a common byproduct of burning and can spread throughout your house from a malfunctioning furnace, water heater, some appliances, fireplace, and clogged vents and chimneys. These vital devises are small, affordable, easy to install, and are available at all local home improvement stores. Various models have different features such as audible and visual alarms, ac powered (connected to your home electrical system), dc powered with batteries, variable control of volume patterns and sensitivity, interconnection to other alarms and monitoring stations and companies, and user-testing.
Underwriters Laboratories (Ul)
You may want to consult Underwriters Laboratories (UL) as a source of information. They have advice on what features to look for. They also have information videos and brochures. They do performance tests of various products and they list, or endorse, models with proven high quality and reliability. Lower quality detectors often will have nuisance or false alarms that are tripped by low levels of CO2 or other vapors such as ammonia.
Retrofit Your House
Better to be safe than sorry – retrofit your house. If you hire a contractor, make sure he or she is licensed with the Village and gets all necessary permits. The Village of Palos Park has adopted the 2005 National Electrical Code and it requires at least one combination carbon monoxide and smoke detector on each level of new homes. If you need more information, please contact the Building Department.