Authorities are warning consumers against using a certain carbon monoxide detector sold on Amazon. Failing to alert about the presence of carbon monoxide could pose risks of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urged people to stop using the HECOPRO digital display carbon monoxide (CO) detectors as they reportedly “failed to alert” about the presence of the poisonous gas when exposed to pre-determined concentrations (400 ppm) during sensitivity tests. This is a “violation of relevant safety standards,” the agency said in a statement Thursday.
Carbon monoxide has been described as an “invisible killer” as it is a colorless and odorless gas that can cause “sudden illness and death.” Those exposed to carbon monoxide while sleeping or when drunk may die even before having symptoms, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This is why installing carbon monoxide detectors and ensuring that they’re working is one of the key ways that people can protect themselves from non-fire carbon monoxide poisoning.
“If a consumer installs a CO detector that does not alert to the presence of carbon monoxide, and carbon monoxide enters the home, the consumer will not be warned of the presence of this harmful gas, making injury or death very likely,” the CPSC said.
The HECOPRO digital display carbon monoxide detectors were sold on Amazon “under ASIN B07T66J7KJ.” They were white in color and have a digital display. Photos of the product are available on the CPSC website.
“CPSC urges consumers not to purchase or sell these CO detectors and to stop using these and dispose of these products immediately and install new, working CO detectors,” the agency noted.
Each year, some 50,000 people in the U.S. end up in hospitals due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. CPSC data shows that over 150 people in the country die from accidental, non-fire-related carbon monoxide poisoning linked to consumer products such as generators each year.
Other important ways people can protect themselves from carbon monoxide poisoning include never using an oven or gas range to heat their homes and never leaving a parked vehicle motor running in a closed or partially closed space.
Even items such as charcoal grills, lanterns or portable camping stoves shouldn’t be used inside the house, tent or camper, the CDC noted. And one should never run items with gasoline-powered engines such as generators in enclosed structures “even if the doors and windows are open.”
It’s also best to be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion and sleepiness.
“If you suspect CO poisoning, get outside to fresh air immediately, and then call 911,” said the CPSC.
People can find other important ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning on the CDC and CPSC websites.