Nighthawk KN-COP-C User Manual

Page 16

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Part Four – What to do When the Alarm Sounds

Part Four – What to do When the Alarm Sounds

Remember to determine if anyone is at high risk for CO poisoning. If so,
you should use precaution not to expose the at-risk person to low levels
for more than eight hours.

If no one is experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, press the
reset button on the CO alarm. Otherwise refer to Dangerous and/or High Level
Alarms on page 4-1,2. Under normal operation the CO alarm will not display CO
concentrations detected between 11 and 29 ppm. By pressing the peak level but-
ton, you can see if any CO concentration from 11 to 999 has been detected
including low levels of 11 to 29 ppm.
Then, consider whether the following could be sources of the low CO levels:

•Cigarette smoke? Gas oven or range? Attached garage?

Fuel-burning appliances?

•Has anyone used chemicals that could affect the sensor?

(See page 1-13 or a list of chemicals that can have a temporary or
permanent affect on the sensor.)

•Has there been a temperature inversion in the area?
•Do you live in an area with air pollution or heavy traffic?

Test the alarm to verify that it is working properly, following the instructions on
page 1-10,11.

If the CO alarm appears to be functioning properly, ventilate your home and turn
fuel-burning appliances to the “off” position until the digital display returns to “0.”
Then, turn appliances back on and take note of any further readings at one hour
intervals. Note if the turning on of appliances has caused any change in CO
alarm readings.

Sometimes conditions may develop that are not caused by malfunctioning appli-
ances or structural problems that need to be repaired. These conditions can cre-
ate a temporary build-up of low CO levels that will dissipate and may not return.
(For example: weather conditions or backdrafts caused by differences in air pres-
sure between the inside and outside of the home). This is why we suggest you
ventilate the home and then monitor to see if any CO levels reappear.

Treatment for CO Poisoning

Any person who is suspected to have carbon monoxide poisoning should leave
the potentially dangerous environment, get fresh air immediately and seek care
from a physician. CO poisoning can be determined by a simple blood test,
called a “carboxyhemoglobin” test. This test measures the amount of carbon
monoxide in the bloodstream. For this test to be accurate, it must be done
immediately after CO exposure. Acute CO poisoning is usually treated by
breathing in oxygen. When CO poisoning is severe, (for example, when there is
an altered state of consciousness), high pressure oxygen therapy in a special
“hyperbaric chamber” may be used. A physician will make this determination
and administer treatment if necessary.

Calling a Qualified Technician to Find and Repair the

If you call a qualified service technician (such as a licensed heating con-
tractor, utility service technician, chimney sweep or fuel provider) to
inspect your home for possible sources of CO, tell the technician what the
digital readings were and have them press the peak level memory button.
This way they can see how big a problem they are dealing with. Do not
restart these appliances until the problem is corrected. Request service for
as soon as possible, like TODAY.

Please be aware that some service technicians may charge a fee to inspect
your home, even if the source of CO is not found. You may wish to find
out if you will be charged for the service and the amount of the fee before
you request service. Some public utilities do not charge for inspection.
Some service technicians do not charge if you purchased your appliance
from them. To know for sure, you need to ask before the technician
comes to your home. Repair work or replacement of appliances may be
necessary to fix the problem that is creating the CO in your home.
Remember, a CO alarm can only warn you of the presence of CO, it does
not prevent CO from occurring, nor can it solve an existing CO

Because you’ve provided ventilation by leaving your windows and doors
open, the CO buildup may have dissipated by the time help responds.
Although your problem may appear to be temporarily solved, it’s crucial
that the source of the CO is determined and appropriate repairs are made.

Sometimes it’s Difficult to Find the Source of
CO in a Home

It can be difficult for responders to locate the source(s) of CO if:

•The house was ventilated before they arrived and the fresh air

caused the CO to dissipate. The peak level function on your
Nighthawk CO alarm helps the responders know how severe
the problem was before they arrived.

•The CO problem was caused by a source that fluctuates on and

off, sometimes creating CO and sometimes not. Such a situation
makes it nearly impossible to pinpoint the source of CO in a short
period of time.

•The cause of CO problem was backdrafting – when air in a

chimney or flue is sucked into the home instead of venting
outside. The exact situation that created a negative air pressure
inside the home (the cause of backdrafting) is difficult to recreate
during an investigation for CO. Sometimes the CO problem
disappears when a door or window is opened. Backdrafting
may or may not happen again.





Unit reads below 50 ppm of carbon monoxide.

810-1009 AC Digital 11/13/01 11:22 AM Page 30

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