It’s not unusual this time of year to hear a devastating story of a family who succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning in their home. We encourage you to know the signs, symptoms, and steps to prevent carbon monoxide and keep your family safe.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless gas. Because you can’t see it, taste it, or smell it, it can kill without warning. Those at especially high risk are babies, children, senior citizens, and others with respiratory problems, but all people are in danger.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning mimic the flu, such as fatigue, headache, and dizziness. If irritability, confusion, loss of consciousness, and vomiting start, it’s important to check CO levels.
Most carbon monoxide problems come from a gas furnace that hasn’t been inspected or maintained. All gas appliances emit carbon monoxide, but have some way to vent it to the outdoors. When there are cracks or leaks in the system, this dangerous gas gets trapped inside the house, having sometimes serious consequences.
The best course of action is to invest in carbon monoxide detectors and install one on each level of the home, by the sleeping areas. Like a smoke detector, it will emit an alarm when the level of carbon monoxide reaches a certain level, alerting residents to seek fresh air.
It’s also crucial to get your furnace inspected regularly. Older furnaces, especially, can develop cracks in the combustion chamber that may not be visible to the naked eye. Vent connections may come loose over time, blowers might stop working well, or thermostat problems could force the furnace to run too long. In some cases, the pilot flame might appear yellow, a sign that fuel is not burning correctly.
Carbon monoxide is a serious problem, so make sure your furnace and other gas appliances are inspected regularly to keep your family safe. Overdue for an inspection? Contact us today for a tune-up!