Protect Your Family From the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide can be a deadly danger in your home, but poisoning is completely preventable. Understanding what carbon monoxide is, where it comes from, the symptoms of poisoning and how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning can save you and your family.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that is colourless and odourless. When inhaled, carbon monoxide prevents blood from carrying oxygen throughout the body, leading to illness and death. It is undetectable to our human senses, which can make it challenging to know when there is exposure present. Severity level of symptoms is related to how much carbon monoxide is present and the how long the exposure has been.
The primary symptoms of low to moderate carbon monoxide poisoning present the same as the common flu, except for a fever.
- Mild to severe headaches
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of muscular coordination
- Chest pains
- Vision changes
- Confusion or disorientation
When carbon monoxide poisoning reaches a higher level, more severe symptoms occur.
- Loss of consciousness
- Ultimately death
Carbon monoxide is the product of the chemical reaction of incomplete combustion and is produced by burning fuels. Coal, gasoline, natural gas, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane and wood are all fuel products that produce carbon monoxide. Equipment that uses such fuel products for power or energy, can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if the gas is expelled in an enclosed space or a poorly ventilated area that is inhabited, such as in your home, garage, trailer or even a tent. This is especially concerning in the colder months when such equipment may be used for heat and warmth, such as:
- Gas and wood stoves
- Wood and gas fireplaces
Each and every day, we use equipment, appliances and products that produce carbon monoxide. It is incredibly important to always be preventing carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Never use fuel burning and equipment machines in enclosed or poorly ventilated area, even if you have doors or windows open
- Ensure that furnaces, fireplaces, stoves, water heaters and dryers are properly installed and routinely serviced to check for any maintenance issues
- Never turn on a vehicle in a garage, even if you have the door open
- Always keep the door that connects your home and garage closed
- Inspect exhaust vents during and following a storm to ensure no blockages
- Regularly inspect and clean chimneys
- During home renovations, ensure that no debris or tarps are blocking vents for appliances and chimneys
The ONLY way detect carbon monoxide in your home is with a carbon monoxide detector alarm. It is recommended to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed on each floor of your home. Placing an alarm in hallways, outside of sleeping areas are the most important location for installation. Regularly test, clean, replace batteries and ultimately replace with a new device as your specific device instructs. If your alarm sounds, NEVER try to locate the source of the carbon monoxide but instead, you should immediately exit your home and then call 911. Installing a carbon monoxide alarm can save you and your loved ones.
Rely on WINMAR® to restore your home or business following an emergent event. Our team will work with you through the process to get your and your family back to pre-event condition as soon as possible to restore what matters.
WINMAR® is Coming Through For You, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.