Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Near Philly, Pa.
    Posts
    1,633

    Exclamation listed carbon monoxide alarms versus monitors

    Before you make blanket recommendations for CO alarms all over the place, you might want to find out which application they are better suited for: life and health safety or door stops. Yes, many off the shelf alarms are junk. The reliability of current listed CO alarms is appalling. I suggest you visit some web sites and do your own research.

    CO
    Carbon Monoxide Headquarters - Home Page
    Carbon Monoxide Saftey Association
    Carbon Monoxide - The Silent Killer
    Welcome to the Training Room

    The only two low level CO monitors that sense and alarm at levels less than 70 ppm are from CO Experts and The National Comfort Institute. All those alarms in your local store are listed to UL 2034, which does not afford adequate protection for chronic low levels of CO or the reliability of these two brands. While they are a lot more expensive, what is you life and the lives of your children and spouse worth?

    Get informed.

    I invite DavidRs comments on this matter as he not only feels strongly about it as I do but, like me, he's into testing and correcting problems that often go unnoticed. David is extremely knowledgeable and qualified to address this mater. David??

    Happy reading,
    Bob Harper

    Similar Threads:
    OREP Home Inspector E&O Insurance 2
    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Frankfort, KY
    Posts
    326

    Default Re: listed carbon monoxide alarms versus monitors

    Sorry I didn't see this till now, I am ashamed to admit I don't frequent the fireplace section much.

    Guess that is going to change.

    I just got finished reading an article where GAMA had a chance to really do some good on the CO alarm issue & completely dropped the ball!

    They RECOMMEND the use of a UL 2034 rated alarm, unbelievable as you would think the guys who wrote the venting tables would know better.

    Yes that was sarcasm I was injecting there.

    If you walk into any home you need to be equipped with a low level monitor, you never know what you might be walking into.

    Measured Performance more than just a buzzword

  3. #3
    Dale W. Feb's Avatar
    Dale W. Feb Guest

    Exclamation Re: listed carbon monoxide alarms versus monitors

    The lower standard was a result of too many false alarm calls. The fire department does not have the man/woman power to service so many calls. The UL-2034 standard allows for time delays based on ppm to ensure a real event.

    I recommend spending the money for a digital display 5-999 ppm. This way we can save ourselves without even having to rely on other resources.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Frankfort, KY
    Posts
    326

    Default Re: listed carbon monoxide alarms versus monitors

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale W. Feb View Post
    The lower standard was a result of too many false alarm calls. The fire department does not have the man/woman power to service so many calls. The UL-2034 standard allows for time delays based on ppm to ensure a real event.

    I recommend spending the money for a digital display 5-999 ppm. This way we can save ourselves without even having to rely on other resources.

    These are the same responses I have heard before & they are still inexcusable.

    How irresponsible is it to place CO alarms that don't go off till the occupants are near death so we don't inconvenience the fire department??

    How about the manufacturers of these devices stop using sensors that are cross sensitive to nearly anything in a home & make them CO specific?
    The digital display is pretty much useless as the alarm isn't designed to respond to levels that low.
    70 PPM for up to 4 hours exposure time is way too long to be exposed, infants, the elderly, & those with medical conditions could already be dead at these levels.

    The reason many of these cases are deemed "false alarms" is due to the fact that those investigating usually don't have any idea what they are looking for.

    How many of us HVAC guys are tearing furnaces apart looking for cracks in the heat exchanger when the water heater or gas oven is the true source during a CO related call?

    These types of alarms should be outlawed as they instill a false sense of security to those who have them thinking they are safe when nothing could be further from the truth.

    Instead of dumbing things down why don't we try to increase the level of education & training on this subject so the real problems can be found.

    I mean no disrespect with this post Dale but this is something I am really into trying to educate others on.

    Measured Performance more than just a buzzword

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Frankfort, KY
    Posts
    326

    Default Re: listed carbon monoxide alarms versus monitors

    Here is a recent event that just happened last week that shows how reliable UL 2034 rated alarms are.
    Thank God the brother was able to respond or it could have been deadly!

    Click here for the story.

    Measured Performance more than just a buzzword

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Near Philly, Pa.
    Posts
    1,633

    Cool Re: listed carbon monoxide alarms versus monitors

    David, FYI, The Capt. put on a CO course for Dale and his FIRE Service last yr.

    I believe Dale was endorsing the NSI 3000 or CO Experts monitors. He understands the limitations and false sense of security with UL 2034 alarms. I think he was just trying to explain THEIR logic--not his.

    As for that article, it is interesting to note they sent 3 patients to Greater Balt. Med. Cntr., which has 4 hyperbaric oxygen chambers but sent one to St. Joes, which does not list HBO in their services.

    Another point is the lousy reporting continues. They state the CO was produced by " a heater left on". What???? What worthless information! Can they be just a bit more specific as maybe state if it was a gas oven, ventfree space heater or regular furnace that wasn't venting? Sheesh! No wonder the word is not getting out. Nobody is reporting the truth accurately and there is nobody capturing the data or following up on a case by case basis.

    It would be interesting to see the response if every home inspector carried a low level CO monitor into the home with them and just set in at the table where they do their paperwork. Might surprise a few inspectors how often they are being exposed to CO and didn't even realize it. Might save them from entering a basement full of CO, too (pun intended).

    Back to our story: if these folks had a proper low level CO monitor, it would have sounded long before they felt symptomatic.

    Another lesson: The neighbors were getting CO from this home. Just because your furnace, stove, fireplace, dryer, etc. are working fine doesn't mean you're out of danger. Of course, there is everybody's favorite, car exhaust or the yard machine engines ( which are HUGE polluters).

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Frankfort, KY
    Posts
    326

    Default Re: listed carbon monoxide alarms versus monitors

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    David, FYI, The Capt. put on a CO course for Dale and his FIRE Service last yr.

    I believe Dale was endorsing the NSI 3000 or CO Experts monitors. He understands the limitations and false sense of security with UL 2034 alarms. I think he was just trying to explain THEIR logic--not his.
    Please accept my apologies then for misinterpreting the post Dale, I tend to get gun shy from being on the defensive so much.

    It's good to see so many of the same thought process when it comes to this subject.

    Measured Performance more than just a buzzword

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Frankfort, KY
    Posts
    326

    Default Re: listed carbon monoxide alarms versus monitors

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post

    As for that article, it is interesting to note they sent 3 patients to Greater Balt. Med. Cntr., which has 4 hyperbaric oxygen chambers but sent one to St. Joes, which does not list HBO in their services.

    Another point is the lousy reporting continues. They state the CO was produced by " a heater left on". What???? What worthless information! Can they be just a bit more specific as maybe state if it was a gas oven, ventfree space heater or regular furnace that wasn't venting? Sheesh! No wonder the word is not getting out. Nobody is reporting the truth accurately and there is nobody capturing the data or following up on a case by case basis.

    It would be interesting to see the response if every home inspector carried a low level CO monitor into the home with them and just set in at the table where they do their paperwork. Might surprise a few inspectors how often they are being exposed to CO and didn't even realize it. Might save them from entering a basement full of CO, too (pun intended).

    Back to our story: if these folks had a proper low level CO monitor, it would have sounded long before they felt symptomatic.

    Another lesson: The neighbors were getting CO from this home. Just because your furnace, stove, fireplace, dryer, etc. are working fine doesn't mean you're out of danger. Of course, there is everybody's favorite, car exhaust or the yard machine engines ( which are HUGE polluters).
    Bob, these are excellent points that you have made.
    I am surprised that even this instance was reported as it seems the media is only after body count in many cases.

    You mentioned carrying a low level monitor with you on every call, how ironic that I just covered this very topic in the monthly article I do.

    Assumptions & rationalization are our two biggest enemies when it comes to tackling CO related problems.

    From what I have seen of the postings on this site the guys involved with it are top notch, we can do so much good if we all chip in.

    Measured Performance more than just a buzzword

  9. #9
    Dale W. Feb's Avatar
    Dale W. Feb Guest

    Thumbs up Re: listed carbon monoxide alarms versus monitors

    David,

    No harm, I do not offend easy. I have been in this business a long time and always welcome additional energy to the fight. Passion for what is right, seams to be less and less visible. Welcome into the ring.

    I would like to say that the F.I.R.E. Service is proud to have Bob Harper on our Educational Development Committee. This committee spends their valuable time and efforts to improve our industry and provide top notch education to professionals.

    Bob current heads the committee for one of our new and very exciting courses. This course focuses on CO exposure, detection, identification and prevention. It will be directed towards fireplaces, chimneys, oil heaters, solid-fuel heaters, gas-burning furnaces, vent systems and much more.

    If anyone is interested in supplying some input or placing a F.I.R.E. under Bobís seat, contact him direct and let him know you are interested. Our goal is to provide you with the absolute best education on these products and the problems that we face as inspectors.


  10. #10
    Ken Kimball's Avatar
    Ken Kimball Guest

    Default Re: listed carbon monoxide alarms versus monitors

    Thank you for listing the CO websites and needed information for the inspection nextwork to follow. If we can be of any assistance, Please contact me or COSA - the CARBON MONOXIDE SAFETY ASSOCIATION The Carbon Monoxide Safety Assoc phone: 1-800-394-5253

    I can be reached directly at 605-393-8368 or kenkimball@cosafety.org

    Ken Kimball, COSA - Director of Operations
    CARBON MONOXIDE SAFETY ASSOCIATION


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •