Marine Carbon Monoxide Detector

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Marine carbon monoxide detector is a critical piece of safety equipment on all boats. This odorless, tasteless and colorless gas is produced by combustion of fuel in your boat’s propulsion engine, gas generator or cooking/heating appliances. It can accumulate in confined spaces and be very dangerous to people aboard. Symptoms can include nausea, headache and chest pain. When exposure is prolonged, people may become disoriented or even pass out and die. The best way to prevent CO poisoning is to keep exhaust ports open, not block them and to ensure proper ventilation of cabin space.

What is a normal CO2 monitor level?

Per ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) standard ABYC A-24, carbon-monoxide detection systems must be installed on all vessels with an enclosed accommodation compartment. This includes designated sleeping accommodations, galley areas with sinks and head compartments.

CO is heavier than air and tends to disperse evenly throughout an area, so placement of a detector isn’t as critical as it would be on land. However, they should not be mounted near a hatch or door, which could distort readings. They should also be located away from dead air spaces, such as corners.

Some manufacturers offer CO detectors specifically for use on a boat. Those UL certified for marine use are designed to detect life threatening levels of CO more quickly than non-marine units. They are typically hard-wired and are equipped with a battery back up in case of power failure. Like all marine electronics, these are subject to moisture and corrosion, so they should be regularly tested and kept dry.

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