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Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a deadly substance that can kill a person in a few minutes. Carbon monoxide is produced by burning fuel. Carbon monoxide poisoning can become a domestic hazard with appliances that burn gas, oil, kerosene, charcoal, and other similar fuels. Carbon monoxide can also be produced by a car's engine.

There are thousands of deaths each year due to malfunctioning appliances and by breathing carbon monoxide fumes from an idling car in an enclosed space. Follow these guidelines to keep your family safe from carbon monoxide.Protecting Your Family From Carbon Monoxide
  • Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless. So you should be on the watch for the initial symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, especially if you have fuel-burning appliances at home. These symptoms include nausea, headaches, and shortness of breath. Dangerous levels of carbon monoxide also include dizziness, fainting, and confusion. Mild nausea, shortness of breath, and headaches for long periods of time may indicate that you are being exposed to carbon monoxide in your home.
  • If you suspect your family is exposed to carbon monoxide, leave the house immediately and get fresh air. Never ignore the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning; you may pass out before you get a chance to leave. Get medical attention at once.
  • If you have fuel-burning appliances at home, make sure that they are inspected by an expert before the heating season. Also check your chimney to make sure it is not blocked.
  • Make sure that any fuel-burning appliances inside your home have a vent to the exterior of the house. Have them installed by an expert and follow the maintenance instructions rigorously. Carefully read all instructions and documentation accompanying any fuel-burning appliances. Follow all safety precautions and never use a fuel that is not appropriate for the appliance in question.
  • If you must use an unvented fuel-burning appliance, crack a door or window to make sure that fresh air circulates through the room. You should never sleep in the same room as an unvented fuel-burning heater. Also, never use an oven or range as a heater. It doesn't matter if it is only for a short time.
  • Never keep your car idling in the garage or other enclosed spaces. Even if the garage door is open, carbon monoxide fumes can enter your home. Carbon monoxide can also build up to lethal levels even if the door to the exterior is open.
  • Never use a charcoal grill inside. Don't use your fireplace as a grill; follow proper fireplace safety. Also, never use a gasoline engine inside your home, or in an enclosed space.
  • Install a Carbon Monoxide detector on each level of your home, and in or near each sleeping area. While you shouldn’t rely solely on CO detectors, having them properly placed throughout your home can serve as a good fail-safe. Try to keep the detectors at least 20 feet from any fuel-burning appliances and at least 10 feet from high humidity locations like bathrooms and kitchens, as moisture can sometimes trigger faulty readings. Test the batteries of your detector regularly, and if an alarm sounds, call a professional to check your gas-burning appliances.
Installing CO detectors is recommended even if you take all of the other steps above because it’s the most surefire way to be quickly alerted of rising levels of carbon monoxide in your home. A gas appliance or heating system could be working properly one day and not the next, so even with scheduled maintenance, it’s best to have a system in place that will notify you of a problem.


By Matt Reynolds - Google+
Posted 2:18 PM  View Comments

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Phone: 502-933-2255
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