Carbon Monoxide Smarts

Do you a have a carbon monoxide detector in your home? If not, the following article contains information for you to consider. Carbon monoxide, or CO, can be very dangerous and often times fatal.

Sometimes called the ‘silent killer’, carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and extremely poisonous gas. Breathing in CO inhibits blood capacity to carry oxygen. So before you suffocate in your sleep, you might want to consider a fairly inexpensive, and potentially life- saving device for you and your family.

Where does it come from?

Carbon monoxide is a gas that is emitted by any burning of fuel. This means that an appliance in your home that uses a fuel such as wood, gas, natural gas, coal or propane, can emit CO. A boiler or furnace, as well as wood burning stoves and fireplaces, would be the most common potential sources of carbon monoxide in the home. Be aware that many clothes dryers and hot water heaters are fueled by natural gas. A range or stove in your kitchen could well be fired with propane. Don’t kid yourself, in every home there exist potential threats of CO. Even in an attached garage, if a car or generator is running inside with the door closed, fumes can seep into the house under a closed door or through a vent.

Are There symptoms?

Initially, exposure to CO gas can mimic flu like symptoms in the victim. No fever will occur, just a mild headache and sleepiness will affect the body. As exposure times to carbon monoxide grows, the symptoms get progressively worse.

· Dizziness

· Nausea

· Fatigue or confusion

· Vomiting

· Severe headache

· Fast heart rate

· Convulsions

· Unconsciousness

· Well, you can only guess what comes next

Prevention

There a few crucial actions you can take to help eliminate the threat of carbon monoxide gas in your home.

· Always have a licensed professional install any furnace or fueled appliance

· Have chimneys cleaned regularly – a blocked chimney flu can be deadly

· Have furnace/heating vents cleaned regularly – these are a direct path into every room

· Never run a gas powered generator or your vehicle in an attached garage

· EQUIP HOME WITH CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS

Where to install:

Since carbon monoxide cannot be smelled or tasted, it can strike you at any time. You and your family are most vulnerable while sleeping, when symptoms will surely go unnoticed. Installing a CO detector in the main bedroom is the first line of defense. Of course every bedroom in the houses should have a detector/alarm as well. Every level in the house should have a carbon monoxide alarm and none should be installed near a window or door. Remember to place them low, as the toxic gas will initially creep along the floor. Most detectors plug right into a wall outlet and provide a digital readout for easy monitoring.

Always be vigilant! If anyone in your household is exposed to the toxic gas, get them in fresh air immediately and call 911. Fire response personal can help identify the source of danger.