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Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

In recent news, there was a Carbon Monoxide incident that killed one and hospitalized seven at a hotel pool in Michigan. The leak reportedly came from a pool heater, but no one knew of it until it was too late. We decided to use this incident as an opportunity to share some carbon monoxide safety tips with our followers. Read up on Carbon Monoxide and the safety tips below to potentially save a life from this silent killer.

About Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a highly poisonous gas produced by burning fuels such as natural gas, gasoline, propane, kerosene, wood, and charcoal. Carbon monoxide from these sources can build up in spaces that are enclosed or even partially enclosed. When home appliances are not properly maintained or when they are used incorrectly, dangerous levels of Carbon Monoxide can result and potentially cause death. This risk increases with the amount of CO in the air and the amount of time someone is exposed.

Safety Tips

  • Be sure that your appliances are both correctly installed and serviced yearly to ensure proper function. If you suspect something is wrong with an appliance, do not use it.
  • If you have heating appliances (furnace, space heater, oven, etc.), be sure that the rooms that contain these appliances are ventilated properly and the vents are not blocked by furniture.
  • Only use these heating appliances for the function for which they were intended. (For example, do not use a stove or portable cooker to heat a room.)
  • When remodeling or altering your home in a way that may affect the efficiency of your heating installation (converting a room, adding on, etc.), do not block or build around existing air vents. Also, be sure that the spaces you are altering has proper ventilation, according to building regulations. It is best to consult a professional for advice on ventilation and flueing.
  • Regularly have chimneys swept and cleared.
  • Make sure all chimneys are regularly swept and kept clear.
  • Invest in Carbon Monoxide detectors and be sure that they are regularly checked and maintained.

Symptoms Of Poisoning

Symptoms of CO poisoning can be confused as flu or food poisoning. The common signs and symptoms include headache, nausea, weakness, stomach pain, dizziness, and confusion. Other signs may include blurred vision, chest pain, numbness and tingling, irritability, agitation, palpitations, seizures, and unconsciousness. If you suspect you or someone else has been poisoned by CO, it is imperative to get them out into fresh air and seek medical attention immediately.