Carbon monoxide can be incredibly difficult to detect, which is why it is termed the silent killer. It can fill an entire house without a detectable smell, color, or taste. Carbon monoxide hides in your fireplace, furnace, and gas ranges. As it builds within the home, it can affect the residents and their pets. Between the years 2010 and 2015, 2,244 people died as a result of unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning. A large majority of these deaths occur during the winter months.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and Its Symptoms
Carbon Monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that is toxic to humans and animals. Inhaling carbon monoxide impedes the blood’s ability to provide oxygen to the rest of the body. Carbon monoxide poisoning is especially dangerous to people who are sleeping, disabled, or intoxicated.
Here are the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Visual disturbances
- Heart and respiratory distress
- Impairment of brain function
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle weakness
- Worsening of preexisting diseases and ailments
If you think that your symptoms may be attributed to CO2 poisoning, you should get outside into fresh air immediately and call 911.
How Does Carbon Monoxide Leak into Your Home?
Many household items cause a carbon monoxide leak. Anything fueled with a gas such as heating systems, boilers, fireplaces, and gas appliances (i.e., clothes dryers) can be sources of CO2. A car can become a dangerous carbon monoxide source if allowed to run in an enclosed space.
How To Protect You and Your Family
Many precautions can be employed to protect you and your loved ones from carbon monoxide poisoning. Taking steps to ensure that your chimneys, heating system, and other appliances are working correctly and promoting proper airflow is incredibly important.
The most significant step you can take to protect your home is to have a carbon monoxide detector and alarm system in your home. These devices operate in a way that is very similar to smoke detectors. The detector is most efficient when installed near the source of a possible CO2 leak. They continue to monitor and detect carbon monoxide levels within your home and alert you if those levels become excessive.
A fantastic way to further educate yourself on this topic and ensure that you are fully protected and adequately prepared is to reach out to your local HVAC company. They are well informed on protecting your family and your home from the toxic effects of carbon monoxide.