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  • Writer's picturejoseph retcho

Ideas to Reduce Your Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Updated: May 12, 2023

carbon monoxide alarm

Any carbon-containing material, such as gasoline, natural gas, propane, coal, or wood, can release carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas, when it burns partially. Because CO substitutes oxygen in the blood and obstructs the delivery of essential oxygen to body cells, it is harmful.

With the proper planning, many cases of carbon monoxide poisoning can be avoided. Start by following these seven suggestions to protect your family and property from carbon monoxide.

1. Recognize the dangers of CO poisoning.

Any device that burns fuel, including a furnace, fireplace, generator, gas appliance, or automobiles, emits CO, a poisonous byproduct.

This colorless, odorless gas may be discharged efficiently and safely when equipment is maintained and vented. Inhaling CO can cause major health problems if you don't.

Victims may experience symptoms like headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest discomfort, and confusion at lower dosages. CO poisoning, however, can quickly result in loss of consciousness and possibly death at greater doses.

2. Keep your vents unobstructed.

Make sure nothing is blocking the exterior stack or vent for your gas dryer, stove, furnace, and fireplace during and after a storm.

Take extra care to avoid letting snow accumulate and obstructing these vital CO exits.

3. Never start an engine in a closed space.

To prevent CO poisoning, proper ventilation is essential. So avoid turning on a car, lighting a grill or stove, or using a generator in a room that is locked off, such as a basement or garage.

Even if the garage door is left open, the CO gas can soon accumulate to dangerous levels.

4. Plan routine maintenance.

Make sure you get professionals to put up the proper ventilation for each item and install your fuel-burning appliances.

Your fuel-burning appliances should be inspected by a skilled specialist at least once a year to ensure they are still operating correctly.

5. Maintaining clean, adequate venting for fireplaces.

Keep your wood-burning fireplace or stove clean, and check that the flue is functioning correctly if you have one.

Keep the vent open to allow gases to escape, even if the remaining embers are merely smoldering.

6. Set up CO alarms.

Consider adding CO alarms to your home if it has fireplaces, attached garages, or fuel-burning appliances. Install alarms outside of every sleeping area, on every floor of the house, and wherever else is necessary under any relevant laws or construction rules.

Some CO detectors even have the ability to be networked throughout your home so that when one senses a problem, they all sound the alarm. If you do hear the CO alarm, get to some fresh air right away, then dial 911.

7. Maintain the CO alarms you have.

You should be aware that CO alarms do require routine maintenance.

For continued use even in the event of a power outage, many are fitted with a battery backup. Similar to how you change the batteries in your smoke detectors, you must remember to change your batteries at the intervals advised by the manufacturer.

In the event of a prolonged power outage, it's a good idea to keep a stock of batteries on hand. Vacuuming visible dust from surfaces, testing and replacing units (see to your owner's manual for more information), and other maintenance suggestions are also worth thinking about.

In addition to safeguarding your possessions against loss and carbon monoxide poisoning, it's critical to have the appropriate home insurance. Make sure you have the coverage you need by contacting an insurance agent or give us Retcho Agency a call.

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