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Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Another story came out recently of multiple deaths in an RV from carbon monoxide poisoning. Every year we hear of another such tragic and easily preventable event. I hadn’t put much concern into it previously because I don’t have a generator mounted in my rig, the cause of many of these deaths. However, another recent article pointed out several other things I hadn’t considered and, well, it scared me. It pointed out that just like most of the car accidents I have been in during my life, it isn’t necessarily about me. It can just as easily be about the other guy, the guy who parks much too close and runs his onboard generator or furnace, or the guy who places his portable generator too close to another rig or upwind of it. I could get gassed out in the middle of the night with nothing to awaken me. Sure, many LP detectors which are installed in RVs by law also have carbon monoxide detectors in them but despite compliance with the law, the two detectors in one are fundamentally at odds with each other. LP gas is heavier than air therefore the detectors are installed near the floor. However, carbon monoxide is lighter than air so the detectors should be installed high up on a wall. For real safety, whether you have one built into the LP detector or none at all, you should have a carbon monoxide detector installed in or near the bedroom. Choose one your comfortable with. Just as with a smoke detector, be sure to change batteries once a year if going that route. Carbon monoxide detectors run between $20-$100 which is cheap insurance for a life. I’ll sleep better now that I have one!

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