Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Dear Barry,

In a recent column, you said, "... carbon monoxide detectors are best located near the floor, because CO is heavier that air." As a former chemistry student, I must correct you in this conclusion. Carbon monoxide, with an atomic weight of 28, is just slightly lighter than air, whose mixture of nitrogen and oxygen has a weight of approximately 28.8. Please let your readers know this.

You are the second expert to point out this discrepancy, and I thank you both for this important correction. Carbon monoxide detectors, therefore, should be placed near ceilings, as is required for smoke detectors.

Unfortunately, most homes have no carbon monoxide detectors at all, and very few municipalities even require them. Everyone reading this is strongly advised to install at least one CO detector in their home. Carbon monoxide is odorless and deadly. CO detectors save lives.

Published by Barry Stone, Inman News

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