How does a CO alarm work?

A CO alarm is powered by long-life alkaline or lithium batteries and It requires regular checks. The CO alarm should be installed in addition to the smoke detector. All recommended carbon monoxide warners have a display for readings and other indicators. They have regular battery sizes, not button cells. The alarm is at least 80 dB loud and they are approved according to DIN/EN 50291.

How CO detectors work

Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors make your life safer. The danger of carbon monoxide is usually massively underestimated. Just a few breaths of this highly toxic gas can lead to loss of consciousness and even death. A CO detector gives an alarm at low concentrations of the gas that are still harmless and emits an acoustic alarm

A CO meter detects the highly toxic gas carbon monoxide according to the so-called highly sensitive electrochemical process using an integrated sensor. if certain threshold values are exceeded, the alarm is triggered when CO is released from specific sources such as fireplaces or stoves over a specified period of time. CO detectors are divided into four different response phases, which are calibrated by the manufacturer in accordance with DIN EN 50291, which specifies which CO values are to be regarded as critical for humans. All warning devices available on the market must comply with these standard values.

The detector warns in time before we would notice the carbon monoxide through physical manifestations, which range from mild headaches and nausea to unconsciousness with fainting and death.

With a high gas density of 100 ppm or more, the device alerts the danger immediately. The duration of the shutter release delay is precisely defined. At 33 ppm, for example, the device only reports after 120 minutes. However, if this value increases to 50 ppm, the alarm should give a signal after 60-90 minutes. Due to the sensitive sensors, many CO warning systems have a relatively short service life of a maximum of three years. Some models have a longer lifespan of around ten years. At the end of their service life, the CO warning systems must be replaced with new ones.

co detector

Safe is better

The hazard potential of carbon monoxide is still underestimated. Today, many homeowners have fireplaces and log cabins that they heat with radiant heaters. They use caravans or cabin boats with gas cookers. A carbon monoxide detector could warn endangered people in good time of accumulation with the odorless gas. The high number of people who fall victim to the poisonous gas every year is increasingly causing us to rethink. Around 500 carbon monoxide deaths occur every year. In addition, many people contract diseases every year because they have unknowingly had a leaky gas line for a long time. The number of people who have been poisoned by carbon monoxide and suffer from secondary diseases can hardly be estimated. In this respect, there is no alternative to CO warning devices.

CO alarms are very safe and are only minimally affected by humidity. In addition, they have a very long service life. Some models offer the option of wireless or cable networking with other detectors. However, it should be noted that a CO alarm cannot detect heat, smoke or dust particle in the air. (To monitor the dust level, use a duct particle counter instead)

carbon monoxide levelpossible signs of intoxication
200 ppmSlight headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea after 2 to 3 hours.
400 ppmHeadache in the forehead within 1 to 2 hours, life-threatening after 3 hours.
800 ppmDizziness, nausea and convulsions within 45 minutes.
1600 ppmHeadache, dizziness and nausea within 20 minutes. Unconsciousness within 2 hours, possible death within 1 hour.
3200 ppmHeadache, dizziness and nausea within 5 to 10 minutes. Death within 25 to 30 minutes.


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Dongguan Deyi Electronic Technology is a manufacturer focus on measuring instrument. We have 12+ years’ experience in the design of precision air testing instruments.

The company’s experienced R&D team has combined electronic engineering and sensor technology, with sensitive infrared/laser probes, to explore a precise solution for environmental gas measurement instruments.

Deyi provides a wide range of measuring instrument systems for industries such as environmental monitoring and research, food and beverage processing, underground space development, agriculture and animal husbandry, automotive and household.

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