It’s not something you usually think of when checking in to an AirBnb or hotel room, but it’s a very real threat. According to the Michigan Department of Health, carbon monoxide poisoning accounts for about 430 deaths per year and 200,000 hospital visits in the United States. For many, including this writer, that statistic is quite surprising. We almost always correlate them with a high rate of death, but the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning are quite serious – especially for those that already have health problems. When traveling or unsure, a portable carbon monoxide detector could be life-saving.
Causes and Evidence
Carbon monoxide is odorless and can generally only be detected in the bloodstream once exposed. It is caused by things that run on fuel. Most often, these are kerosene, propane, furnaces, gas water heaters, and gas range. Hotels in the United States are required by law to have carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in every room. Is this checked up on frequently? It’s anyone’s guess.
AirBnb places and hotels or condos overseas might not abide by these policies, though. This is where things get tricky. Do you bring your own full-size carbon monoxide detector? You could, but those can be bulky and unwieldy. Also, it’d be pretty awkward if you accidentally hit the testing button in airport security!
Safe and Unsafe Levels of Carbon Monoxide
In early 2018, a family of four died while visiting Mexico. Weird Al Yankovic’s parents died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious issue that can be prevented, which makes these stories even more heartbreaking. Your first step is to check your own home. Double check the battery and tell Alexa or Siri to remind you to check again every month. Replace them no matter what every 2-3 months. This goes for your smoke detector, too.
What’s the best portable carbon monoxide detector?
For families, we recommend the Kidde KN-COPP-3 Nighthawk. You can check it out here on Amazon. Unlike the popular carbon monoxide detectors found in homes. The Kidde has a small screen that displays the current level of carbon monoxide in the air. It is powered by a 120v plug-in cable but also has a 9 volt battery backup. With its widest dimension being only about 6″, its portability and price can’t be beat.