Carbon monoxide (also known as CO) is a deadly, colorless, odorless poisonous. A faulty furnace which doesn’t completely burn natural gas can emit carbon monoxide, which can kill you in your sleep. Because of this, it is vital that you have your furnace regularly serviced.
Carbon monoxide detection can be tricky, because the symptoms for CO poisoning can easily resemble the common flu. Those symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Mental confusion
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of consciousness
- And finally, death
The symptoms you feel can vary depending on the severity of the CO poisoning. That’s why it is important to detect carbon monoxide before you feel any symptoms.
Carbon monoxide detection
- CO Alarm System – It is a must that you purchase and install a CO alarm. They can be acquired rather inexpensively, and are easy to setup.
- Testing – When you first get the alarm, it is important that you test it first. There should be a button marked “test” that you will need to push, and you will hear a loud beeping sound. This will tell you that it’s working. Make sure you use a new battery when you get your alarm, or change your battery regularly if you already have one.
- Installation Placement – Your CO alarm should not be installed behind drapes, furniture, kitchens, or vents. They should be placed outside of each bedroom in the hallway to ensure everyone’s safety. Placing them in non-recommended areas may make them give off false alarms, and even cause faster wear.
- Contamination Response – If your alarm goes off, you must immediately remove everyone from the premises and go outside where the fresh air is. You then proceed to call 911 so that the fire department can come by and check out your home. DO NOT enter your home until it has been inspected by emergency services, and if the issue is caused by an appliance, make sure it is serviced before using it again.
- Garage Complications – If you have an attached garage, that may be the culprit of the CO. In that case, make sure you do not leave your vehicle on in your attached garage. If you must warm up your vehicle, you should remove it from the garage first and let it warm up outside. Never leave your vehicle running in your garage.
How can I prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?
- You appliances should be serviced regularly, and operating to manufacturer specifications. Often, appliances have vents or filters that can get clogged. Make sure you clean them normally.
- Do not use your oven or range to heat your home. That’s what a furnace is for. Using an oven for heating was never an intended authorized use.
- Do not use aluminum foil to block the bottom of a natural gas or propane oven. If you do, you will block air flow and create CO.
- Never leave a running vehicle in your garage. As stated above, exhaust should be away from the home.
- Don’t burn charcoal inside of a home or garage. If you do not have a covered outside patio, then do your barbecuing in the yard.
- Do not attempt to service an appliance unless you are a professional. Leave that to a certified pro, and do not take risks with yours or your family’s life.
- Don’t use any portable fuel-burning equipment in an enclosed space unless it was specifically intended for such use.