There’s a silent killer that could be released in your home without your being aware of it. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that causes more than 150 fatalities each year.
Carbon monoxide is formed from the incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels, such as natural gas, kerosene, heating oil, gasoline or wood. It often results from burning in enclosed spaces, where there’s not enough oxygen to produce harmless carbon dioxide instead. Unvented gas or kerosene space heaters can be sources of carbon monoxide, as well as generators or cars that are run in closed garages. Gas stoves, water heaters, and furnaces can also be sources if their parts are leaking or not connected properly. A fireplace or wood stove can present a carbon monoxide hazard if the flue is partly or wholly blocked.
Carbon monoxide is dangerous because it prevents the bloodstream from carrying oxygen throughout the body. It combines with hemoglobin in the blood and takes up the space that oxygen should have. A carbon monoxide concentration of 667 parts per million may reduce the body’s oxygen by 50 percent, which can result in coma or death. The concentration around a properly working gas stove should be no more than 15 parts per million. Carbon monoxide can also cause heart and central nervous system damage and can severely affect a developing fetus.
The early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may be difficult to recognize because they’re often much like the flu. They include headache, drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting. Families may not realize the problem is carbon monoxide and think it’s “something going around.” Later signs may be vision problems, confusion, fainting, seizures and coma, which can soon lead to death.
There are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Have your central heating cleaned and checked by a professional at least once a year. Be sure not to run the car or any other gas engine inside a closed garage. Install an exhaust fan on your gas stove and vent it outside. Before you use your fireplace, make sure the flue is open. If you’re putting in a wood stove, check that the flue fits properly and the door closes tightly.
The most important step you can take is to place carbon monoxide detectors like those from Honeywell NJ inside your home. The carbon monoxide detectors should be installed near sleeping areas and by gas appliances, and there should be one on each level of the home. They should be wired, so they all go off at the same time. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and be sure to replace the batteries and clean the detectors when necessary. It’s also a good idea to have smoke alarms and learn to tell the difference between the sound of the smoke alarm and the carbon monoxide detector.
A.C. Daughtry, a full-service New Jersey security company, can provide reliable carbon monoxide protection for you and your family. An authorized Honeywell NJ dealer, A.C. Daughtry can install your detectors, monitor them around the clock and immediately notify you of any carbon monoxide danger. If you’re careful with fuel-burning mechanisms and have dependable carbon monoxide detectors, you can help protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Related Articles: Uncategorized