Nest Labs Inc., Palo Alto, Calif., has released a new white paper sharing field data on the incidence and characteristics of carbon monoxide (CO) events detected by the Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide™ alarm. While carbon monoxide poisoning has been studied extensively, until now, the fire services community has had to rely primarily on self-reported data to estimate how many people are exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide, as well as the level of CO exposure in each incidence. Another research challenge that Nest Protect addresses is the difficulty in catching CO events because of the relative low number of incidents. For example, Nest Protect detected high levels of CO in 0.15% of homes per month. In the past, researchers would need to install and monitor more than 10,000 devices for a month just to observe 15 natural occurrences of high CO levels.

In this white paper, Nest shared its first summary of field data on carbon monoxide events from November 2013 to May 2014 in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. All field data is anonymous, and no information about individual users is disclosed or discussed. Highlights from this report include:

• 0.15% of Nest homes experienced a CO event per month between November 2013 and May 2014.

• Peak CO levels during CO alarms ranged from 70 parts per million (ppm) to 1,964 ppm, with a median of 142 ppm.

• The length of CO events ranged from 3 minutes to over 24 hours, with a median of one hour and 17 minutes.

• Nest Protect data suggests that at least one million households across the United States, United Kingdom and Canada are exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide each year.