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Carbon Monoxide Safety Still a Pressing Issue

The dangers of CO are undeniable

The dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) gas have been far too apparent over the years, as countless deaths occur annually as a result of CO inhalation. Without the proper detection equipment, there's virtually no way you'd be aware that this colorless, odorless, tasteless gas was affecting you and your family.

Scientifically speaking, carbon monoxide is caused by the incomplete combustion of carbon containing compounds in circumstances where oxygen supply is limited. In other words, low oxygen in the combustion (burning) environment prevents the gaseous byproduct from being turned into carbon dioxide (CO2), and if you're breathing air right now, you know CO2 is not as dangerous as CO.

The most common "offenders" in the creation of this dangerous gas are all around us: exhaust from cars and other motor vehicles with internal combustion engines, wood-burning stoves, portable camping stoves and other propane-fueled equipment, even house fires.

And to think that despite all the knowledge we have about the dangers of CO, and the fact that there are myriad devices for detection, there are more homes without CO detectors than with.

I'm a Chicago, Ill. resident, and Ace Hardware Corp. is in Oak Brook, a suburb to the west. As of January 1, 2007, all homes in the state of Illinois must have a carbon monoxide detection device within 15 feet of any bedroom. And law or not, I think it's a great idea: when my family's safety is at stake, I act to make it right, and you should do the same. So whether your state has taken similar measures to mandate CO safety or not, take the law into your own hands: Invest in a CO detector for your home, keep it up-to-date with battery changes, and listen to it... if the alarm sounds, take it seriously.

Your local Ace Hardware store has a number of models to choose from. Right here at www.acehardware.com there are a multitude of options as well, such as the inexpensive yet effective First Alert plug-in model with battery backup (Ace no.5351267). For additional protection, the First Alert combination CO and explosive gas detector (Ace no. 5203351) also alerts of natural gas and propane traces in the air.

Danger never rests, so it's important your safety measures don't, either. Take the necessary precautions to keep your family safe 24-7 for enhanced piece of mind. And if you have additional questions about home improvement and outdoor living, ask the helpful folks at your neighborhood Ace Hardware store, or feel free to email me at asklou@acehardware.com.

Take care,

-Lou

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