Carbon Monoxide: What You Need To Know To Stay Alive
‘Tis the season to be wary…of carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide is a by-product of incomplete combustion. It is produced when oil, gas, or coal burns. The reason to be wary is because carbon monoxide is deadly and very hard to detect as it is colorless and odorless. Carbon monoxide bonds to the hemoglobin in your blood more readily than oxygen and makes you sick. The early symptoms present like the flu–headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and irritability. As levels rise it can cause vomiting, loss of consciousness, and eventually brain damage or death. The problem is, the progression of symptoms is often very swift and it becomes deadly before you even know it’s there.
Common Sources of Carbon Monoxide
Our homes have several sources of carbon monoxide production.
The main household sources are
- vehicle exhaust
- gas and oil furnaces
- gas stoves
Other heat producing appliances also produce carbon monoxide:
- clothes dryers
- water heaters
- space heaters
Inspect and Maintain Your Appliances.
The best first line of defense is to make sure all of your appliances are working properly. Regular maintenance on furnaces, water heaters, dryers, etc. is imperative. Regular inspection on ventilations systems and filters is also important. Make sure to correct any blockages, cracks or holes, corrosion, rust, or lint in appliances and vents, flues, and chimneys. Use caution and ensure proper ventilation when using a space heater; never use an outdoor grill indoors.
Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector.
A carbon monoxide detector is designed to trigger an alarm when it detects the gas at levels before an average, healthy adult would experience symptoms. It is important to note that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are not interchangeable. Smoke detectors do not detect carbon monoxide and carbon monoxide detectors do not detect all the by-products of fire.
Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector to protect you and your family. Proper installation includes:
- Detector is wired into the homes electric line or plugged into an outlet with a battery backup
- A different alert sound than a smoke detector
- Alert is installed near the sleeping area and can be heard in every bedroom
Create an Emergency Evacuation Plan
For carbon monoxide (or fire) you need to vacate the premises immediately. It is important to note that the alert from a carbon monoxide detector signals at levels below what would cause symptoms for an adult. If you have small children, elderly, or anyone with respiratory or other health related issues, they are even more vulnerable and need to get out right away. Make sure that everyone knows where to go in the case of carbon monoxide poisoning–outside into a well ventilated and safe area. Make sure that you have a gathering point and an established mode of communication to make sure you are able to ensure everyone is safe.
Prestige Property Management is dedicated to your safety. Every single property we manage has a carbon monoxide detector that are UL listed and professionally installed. Please make sure that the unit in your home is working properly and inform us IMMEDIATELY if there is any problem. This is the season where more combustion is taking place to warm your home. Make sure you and your loved ones are safe. We are here for you: 208-938-8009.