Carbon monoxide (CO) is a significant public health concern. More than 10,000 are poisoned by carbon monoxide needing medical treatment annually; over 500 people in the U.S. die annually from carbon monoxide poisoning.
CO is found in fumes generated any time you burn fuel in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. CO can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it.
The most frequent symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, fatigue, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If you breathe in lots of CO it can make you pass out or kill you. Individuals that are drunk or sleeping can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms.
So, how can you prevent CO poisoning in your residence?
Place your sensor where it will wake you up if it alarms, such as outside your bedroom. Replace your CO detector every five decades.
Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician each year
Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors.
If you smell an odor from your gas fridge have a specialist service it. An odor from the gas refrigerator can mean it could be leaking CO..
When you purchase gas equipment, purchase only gear carrying the seal of a national testing service, such as Underwriters’ Laboratories.
Make sure that your gas appliances are vented properly. Horizontal vent pipes for appliances should go up slightly as they go toward outdoors. This prevents CO from leaking if the pipes or joints are not fitted tightly.
Have your chimney cleaned or assessed annually. Chimneys can be blocked by debris. This can cause CO to build up within your house or cabin.
Never use a gas stove or oven for heating. Using a gas stove or oven for heating can result in a build-up of CO within your house, cabin, or camper.
Stand-alone carbon monoxide detectors typically cost between $20-$50. In spite of the relatively low cost, safety checks have shown that fewer than one in ten homes had a carbon monoxide detector.
Being informed about the potential dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and adopting some proactive security measures can help prevent unnecessary damage to you and your nearest and dearest.