I have just been waken up by an alarm and found out that my neighbour did something terrible with his lighter. Luckily, there was no fire, only a plenty of smoke, and our flats were hermetically isolated, so that smoke didn't go to my flat. But, most probably because of my suspiciousness, I noticed some smell of burnt organic, which usually accompanies CO. I switched on ventilation and went out - just in case. There were no CO detectors in the house - only smoke detectors - my bad. Now the adventure is over (I hope so, at least) and I have got an (im)practical question:

Are there any ways to detect CO using only "kitchen chemistry"?


Surf a civilian aircraft supply. They sell a little absorbant white tab (chemical spot detector) containing $\ce{PdCl2}$. When exposed to CO it goes black.


Canary. Goldfish won't work - they can survive on anaerobic respiration,

who needs powdered alcohol?


I have seen more than one website recommend a canary. If you'd prefer not to have a canary in the house I highly recommend investing in a CO detector... they save lives!

If you would still not like to have a CO detector; I highly recommend knowing what the symptoms of CO poisoning are, if you experience these symptoms and believe they maybe caused by CO, get out of the house and call for help immediately! Flu-like symptoms without the fever, dizziness and headache. Here are two links, I hope you find their information helpful!

Good luck!




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