Carbon monoxide (CO) gas is invisible and has no odor, so it’s difficult to identify without a special detector. Burning fuel or other types of carbon-based materials releases this compound. CO can occur in or near your home when carbon-burning appliances are not properly maintained or vented. Since CO can’t be detected, carbon monoxide poisoning is a potential hazard in our homes.
Potential Sources of Exposure to Carbon Monoxide
There are a number of ways you or a family member could be at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Poorly maintained furnace
- Clogged chimney
- Blocked heating exhaust vents
- Improperly vented natural gas water heater or stove
- Using gas-powered tools indoors, or outside close to windows, doors or vents
Six Symptoms to Watch For
Exposure to CO can cause a number of symptoms. These include:
- Chest Pain
If the level of exposure is high enough, the affected person will lose consciousness and may die.
Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Your Home
Good news! You can take steps to prevent CO poisoning in your home.
- Install either a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector or one with a battery back-up. Be sure to change the batteries in it every spring and fall when the time changes. Place the detector in a place where it will wake you up if it sounds an alarm, since many people succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning in their sleep. It’s a good idea to install the alarm near the bedrooms in your home.
- Replace your CO detector every five years, or when it is not working properly. Consider purchasing one that provides a digital readout of the CO level in your home.
- When you decide to buy any gas equipment, buy only brands that carry a seal from a national testing agency.
- Have your furnace, water heater and any other gas or oil-burning appliances serviced annually.
If your CO detector does go off, leave your house immediately and call your local fire department. They have the necessary equipment to check your home to confirm whether you have a carbon monoxide leak. You and your family may need to go to the Emergency Room for treatment if the leak is confirmed.
The best way to protect your family against carbon monoxide poisoning is to be proactive about caring for your home. Call Aurora Edmonds Furnace Cleaning at 425.215.0838 to arrange an appointment for furnace cleaning in Greater Seattle. It will give you peace of mind.
Carbon Monoxide is Hazardous to Your Health
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