Often dubbed “the silent killer,” CO is a colorless and odorless gas that is impossible to detect without an alarm. If you’ve got heaters, fireplaces, furnaces, appliances or cooking sources using coal, wood, petroleum products or other fuels emitting CO as a by-product of combustion, you’re at risk.
Attached garages with doors, ductwork or ventilation shafts connected to a living space also are sources of CO.
Current National Fire Protection Association guidelines recommend CO alarms be installed on each level of the home, including the basement, and outside every sleeping area.
CO poisoning is notoriously difficult to diagnose – often until it’s too late. The symptoms mimic those of many other illnesses including nausea, headaches, dizziness, weakness, chest pain and vomiting.
In more severe poisoning cases, people may experience disorientation or unconsciousness, or suffer long-term neurological disabilities, cardiorespiratory failure or death.
Follow these tips from First Alert to keep your household safe this winter:
Run kitchen vents or exhaust fans anytime the stove is in use.
Always run exhaust fans when cooking, especially during the holidays when stoves are left on for longer periods of time. Open a nearby window periodically when cooking to allow fresh air to circulate.
Never use generators indoors
Use them outside only, never inside the home, in a garage or in any confined area that can allow CO to collect. Don’t use charcoal grills, camp stoves and other similar devices indoors.
Have your fuel-burning appliances inspected regularly.
Get a professional inspection of your furnaces, stoves, fireplaces, clothes dryers, water heaters and space heaters annually to detect any CO leaks. Let me know if you need a referral to a good serviceperson.
Install/test CO alarms.
CO alarms are the only way to detect this poisonous gas, yet nearly one-half of us don’t have a CO alarm.
For under $20 you can get a battery powered CO alarm to help protect your household. Install alarms on every level of the home and near each sleeping area for maximum protection. Test alarm function monthly and change batteries every six months.
Be mindful of the garage.
Never leave a car running in an attached garage. Even if the garage door is open, CO emissions can leak into your home.
Know who to call.
If a CO alarm sounds, leave your home immediately and call 911.
Have questions or comments? Contact me today.
Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved