Responding to Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Q: What should the proper response be to central station monitored CO gas detectors?
A: Carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless and colorless. It is impossible to detect except with a CO detector. CO detectors have a threshold setting of a certain number of parts per million, above which they will annunciate an alarm.
The threshold level of a CO gas detector is probably low enough so that the gas present at the detector is not yet threatening to life. When a detector alarms and you inquire about the condition of the occupants, the answer might be very misleading. There is no judging what the levels are in other parts of the dwelling or the rate of rise of the level of gas. High levels of CO can affect judgment.
The most prudent response when a CO detector alarm is transmitted to a central station should be to call the premises immediately. Alert the occupants of the CO alarm and tell them to leave the premises without delay, accounting for all occupants as they do. The next call should be to the fire department or to whomever the responding agency is designated in that area, alerting them of the nature of the alarm.
If a CO alarm has occurred, it is a good idea to advise the occupants to have a professional explore its cause before re-entering the dwelling.
The installed CO sensor should be a system-powered and monitored device, not an interconnection to a widely available AC powered device. AC powered devices might fail as a result of a catastrophic occurrence that also caused the CO event. It is far better to have a CO detector handled as a fire alarm sensor in a supervised loop, powered by a backup battery.
Security Assessment at a Glance
DSC gives users of its PowerSeriesT control panels the means to assess the state of their security systems at a glance using the PC5601 status module. The module uses a tri-color LED to display either flashing or steady colors to indicate system status. It requires no programming, and features a four-wire, color-coded wiring harness for quick and easy connection to any PowerSeries control panel. The PC5601 is housed within a sleek white plastic enclosure that can be mounted to a standard electrical box or directly onto an interior wall.
The value of the PC5601 is maximized when used in tandem with DSC's WS4939 wireless key. The wireless key allows users to disarm their alarm system as they approach their home, and, once inside, they can quickly reference the PC5601 to see if an alarm has been recently activated. For more information, visit www.dsc.com
Going Beyond the Traditional