We recently posted a short list of precautionary inspection tips in order to avoid the chance of you or your loved ones getting carbon monoxide poisoning. The odorless CO gas can be extremely dangerous to those exposed to it and steps need to be taken to keep a home’s inhabitants safe. This dangerous gas can lead to severe health issues or even worse.

Many wonder how to detect carbon monoxide in the home since it is both colorless and odorless.  The best and most obvious way is the have properly installed CO detectors in multiple areas, preferably each floor and any secluded room, in the home. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t take every necessary precaution when it comes to CO detection and avoiding putting themselves or their loved ones at risk. Sometimes, carbon monoxide poisoning can come in very low-level amounts, which means these individuals don’t know there is carbon monoxide present until a great deal of exposure and health deterioration occur.

In many carbon monoxide cases, homeowners have been said to have gotten the symptoms actually caused by exposure to CO gas confused with lengthy common cold or flu symptoms. The symptoms list for carbon monoxide poisoning can be extremely lengthy, and common cold or flu symptoms are almost all on that list. So, poor CO detection combined with the odorless and colorless nature of the harmful gas can lead to a misunderstanding of the cause of a sickness. Furthermore, a common cold or flu can often spread to multiple, or all, individuals living under the same roof, so these individuals aren’t quick to make the jump to a cause other than a spreadable virus or sickness.

To add even more confusion to the mix, the worst times of year for common sicknesses and carbon monoxide poison often line up. Winter months tend to show more cases of each than other months throughout the year. According to a study done by Vanderbilt University, CO poisoning cases rise dramatically during the colder winter months. This can be attributed to much more heat use during this time of year. Greater use of indoor heating systems can lead to greater risk of carbon monoxide problems if the system is not properly maintained or carbon monoxide detectors are installed and in great working order.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a great way of distinguishing between low-level carbon monoxide poisoning and common illnesses such as a cold or flu until symptoms become much worse. As we mentioned above, the best way to avoid this confusion or trouble is to avoid the chance of CO poisoning all together with properly positioned and fully operational low-level CO detectors throughout your home. BelRed carries and installs many great low-level carbon monoxide detectors, as well as many other comfort and safety essential products.

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