For the majority of people, who are not blind or suffer some form of colour-blindness, colour is an extremely important element of our lives. It has an effect on pretty much anything you care to name, from the big stuff like the colour of the sky or the intensity of your mood to tiny things you aren't even conscious of including the food you eat, products you buy and clothes you choose to wear on any given day. Before you continue reading, take a quick moment to look around you and appreciate the rich tapestry of colours, tones and shades, perhaps for the first time in a while...
Colour has, since human beings stopped dragging their arms along the floor and invented cups of tea, been a central feature of life. It doesn't matter how remote people are in either time or distance, humans have without exception noticed and used colour is a host of different ways. And even before we came onto the planetary scene to 'civilise' it, animals and plants have done exactly the same thing (albeit in an unconscious way), right down to their reasons for using or being a particular colour (to attract a mate, to either blend in with the background or stand out sharp against it and to send signals recognised by everyone in the species).
It's here we come to the point of this article, at the end of the rainbow we've been creating. Using colour to send a signal is the oldest trick in the book and one of the signals most often sent by humans and animals alike is one of DANGER or WARNING of said danger. It is pretty-much universally recognised that GREEN means OK and RED means NOT OK; many other countries and cultures including our own also recognise AMBER as a kind of halfway point, meaning PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
We use the RED-AMBER-GREEN system in many ways, from the literal example of traffic signals to more abstract uses such as the 'traffic-light' system of labelling food. It makes perfect sense, therefore, that many Carbon Monoxide detectors use the same system to ensure your peace of mind knowing you are protected from what is widely dubbed as 'the silent killer'. And, just like traffic-signals, you get a handy bleep to make sure you look at what it's displaying!
It's simple to remember and it could be vital to your health and that of those close to you. CO is not referred to with such a grisly moniker for no reason and the hard fact is that many people are 'silently killed' every year by the gas; if it goes undetected for too long, then you won't be seeing any colours ever again and your family will be only thinking about their black funeral clothes.
When the light is GREEN: This means that everything is normal and you're good to GO. For most people, this is the only light that will ever be displayed and the detector will have had AMBER and RED lights installed for nothing. But that of course is exactly how you want it to be!
When the light is AMBER: This is the warning light and tells you that it's an ALERT that calls for ACTION. There machine has encountered a fault and is letting you know that, for the moment, it cannot be relied on for accurate readings. Any fault is often cleared-up with a quick reset and you'll be back to green in no time. The internal power pack supplied will last a cool 7 years thereabouts, when it has reached the end of service life, so any power issues sheuld be referred to the vendor.
When the light is RED: You've got the idea by now and you'll know that RED means DANGER and will only illuminate if the detector records CO levels higher than normal. RED means RIGHT NOW and it means RING a professional to come and do their stuff.