Every home should be outfitted with carbon monoxide detectors, whether you have a separate system or one that is built into your alarm or home security systems. Carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous and it is certainly something that you should be aware of when you go anywhere – whether you are at home or on vacation.
You absolutely need to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home. Not interested in another gadget hanging on your wall? Life Shield incorporates a Carbon Monoxide Detector into home security – so you are getting both at the same time.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon Monoxide is one of the most dangerous gases on the planet because you cannot see it, you cannot smell it, nor can you taste it. In fact, most people don’t realize that it is around unless they start to feel sick. For this reason, it has been called the silent killer – and it has claimed many lives.
Why is Carbon Monoxide So Dangerous?
Carbon Monoxide is so dangerous because it isn’t easily detected – but what it does is even more dangerous. CO stops the blood from carrying oxygen, which you need to survive.
How Do Carbon Monoxide Develop?
Carbon Monoxide is present in any fuel-burner, meaning many of the items in your home. Some of the most common appliances that may lead to a Carbon Monoxide
situation include cars, fireplaces, heaters, dryers, and wood burning stoves. Generators are one of the most common sources of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Most commonly, the poisoning develops because of using the fuel-burning device is a closed space (i.e. idling your car in the garage without it being opened). However, it can also happen in your home if there is a leak in the furnace exchange or your chimney has been blocked.
How Do I Know I Have a Carbon Monoxide Problem?
Many of the initial symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include general sickness problems – which is why so many people go to bed and then never wake up. You may experience dizziness, sleepiness, fatigue, headaches, or confusion.
With only a bit of exposure, you might not have visible symptoms, but the longer or more that you are exposed to it, the worse these symptoms will get. With extreme exposure to carbon monoxide, you can experience lung failure, heart damage, or even brain damage.
Even slight exposure may need treatment.
Can I Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
The most important step that you can take is to put carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home, including the basement and the attic. You want to put them nearest to the sleeping areas if possible.
Routine maintenance around your home, such as having your chimney and heater inspected by a qualified technician is important, as they can spot issues before they grow. Of course, you also only want to purchase appliances from reputable sources.
While it may seem obvious, you also don’t want to use your gas stove as a heater, nor do you want to leave your car idling in your garage for a long period of time – even if you are not in there.
How Do I Position a Carbon Monoxide Alarm?
Most of your appliances will already have a Carbon Monoxide alarm, but you may want to install one near it if they do not – but make sure that it is at least 15 feet away. Do not cover or obscure your alarm in any way – all homes should have these, so they do not ruin your interior design.
Do not place the alarm near an open window, as that may pick up some of the outside breeze.
You do want to place the alarm near a place that you see every day so that you can check them to see if the battery is still working. If possible, purchase a digital display so that you can look at it from afar for testing and day-to-day upkeep on your levels.
Carbon Monoxide is an extremely dangerous gas that you need to keep in the back of your mind at all times – sometimes accidents will happen or something strange will occur that you didn’t predict. Having a Carbon Monoxide alarm is one of the best ways to prevent something horrific from happening.
If your alarm does go off, DO NOT try to find the source of the problem. Instead, get yourself (and your pets) outside so that you can get fresh air. From there, you should call the fire department to await assistance.