Most everyone has smoke detectors in their homes, but carbon monoxide detectors often get overlooked.
Unfortunately, carbon monoxide (CO) is more dangerous than people realize. It can cause flu-like symptoms that are typically resolved after leaving the affected area, but they can be fatal.
Other symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include:
- Impaired vision and coordination
- Headaches and dizziness
- Chest pain and shortness of breath
The severity of these symptoms is affected by the levels of CO and the duration of exposure. Because symptoms typically mimic the flu in the initial stages, CO poisoning can be easily misdiagnosed, which can lead to fatality.
Carbon monoxide is extremely difficult to detect since it’s colorless and odorless. CO levels can continually increase without the homeowner’s knowledge without the use of properly functioning detectors.
Common Sources of Carbon Monoxide
The most common source of this poisonous gas is the exhaust from an automobile which can enter the home from an attached garage. But there are also a number of different appliances in the home that can be a source of carbon monoxide, most of which are gas powered. These include:
- Gas and wood stoves
- Gas and unvented kerosene space heaters
- Furnaces that leak exhaust into the home, also known as back-drafting
- Chimneys that back-draft
- Gas water heaters
- Tobacco smoke
How to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
The best treatment for poisoning by carbon monoxide is prevention. Ensure that all gas appliances are installed by qualified technicians and have furnaces and chimneys inspected annually for leaks and blockages.
Installing carbon monoxide detectors in the home is another way to prevent poisoning, but they don’t guarantee safety. These devices alert household members to rising carbon monoxide levels with an audible sound.
All carbon monoxide detectors must meet the current UL 2034 requirements and should be installed near the ceiling in hallways close to sleeping areas.
Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing has been serving homeowners in the Cincinnati area since 1910. For more information about carbon monoxide detectors and other home comfort concerns, contact our team today!
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