In our most recent post, we discussed the importance of carbon monoxide detectors when it comes to keeping your family safe from this harmful gas. As mentioned, Fall is the perfect time of year to make sure your CO detectors, which are required by law in our state, are installed and working properly. It’s also extremely important to brush up on your carbon monoxide knowledge. In the event of exposure, this knowledge may come in handy to keep you and your loved ones safe. To help, we’ve outlined below a few things you should know about carbon monoxide and its exposure.

 

  • CO is impossible to detect without proper equipment. As stated in the previous post, carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. Without a carbon monoxide detector, it’s impossible to know whether or not carbon monoxide has been produced and is present in your home. A good detector is the only way to help prevent CO poisoning or worse.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms can be confused with other sicknesses. Many of the symptoms that come with CO poisoning can easily be confused with common flu symptoms such as headaches, weakness, dizziness, nausea or others. People who are sleeping often don’t feel any symptoms before it’s too late. Again, all the more reason to make sure you have the warning of a good CO detector installed.
  • All people are at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. While CO may more quickly affect elderly or young children more quickly or with lower levels of concentration, carbon monoxide is dangerous for everyone. More than 20,000 people in the US alone make visits to the emergency room due to carbon monoxide poisoning and exposure.
  • You can help prevent the problem before it starts. There are many precautions, especially during this time of year, that can be taken to ensure your home is free from carbon monoxide and the dangers that come along with it. Maintaining your heating system properly and ensuring good ventilation in your home are two major steps you can take to prevent CO danger in your home. If you have to use a generator this winter because of a power outage, make sure it’s outside and not housed indoors or in the garage. Always make sure your car is outside before warming it up (or at the very least make sure the garage door is fully open).

 

While there are many other things to know about the dangers of carbon monoxide, taking simple steps now to prepare your home for the colder months ahead can greatly reduce your risk. Again, it’s a great idea to have a comprehensive home safety inspection or audit if you feel your home and family are at risk. Most importantly, don’t hesitate to test and replace your carbon monoxide detectors frequently!

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