Carbon monoxide is a silent killer because it leaves no detectable presence to the human eye or any of the other senses. Carbon monoxide or CO as it also referred to as, is an odorless gas that is produced by gas-powered appliances including furnaces, gas grills, generators and automobiles.
Purchase a Carbon Monoxide Detector
A carbon monoxide detector is a device that monitors the air for the presence of carbon monoxide. These devices are electric or battery-powered and should be placed in hallways or in the same areas as smoke detectors. The device has an alarm that will sound upon detection of CO. The cost for these devices is roughly between $40 and $60 and can be purchased at most hardware stores and online retailers.
Have Your Heating System Inspected
Another way to protect your family is to have your heating system inspected prior to every heating season. The best time to catch problems is before the system is turned on. The technician will check for leaks in the chimney/flue and ensure proper installation. The system is also cleaned which helps to remove any buildup that sometimes collects in the flue or chimney and inside the vents.
Use Gas-powered Appliances Appropriately and in Ventilated Areas
When using gas-powered appliances such as barbecue grills or outdoor cookware, please use caution and be sure to use according to the manufacturer’s instructions and in a well-ventilated area. Never use these appliances indoors for any reason, they emit carbon monoxide in enclosed areas which can be deadly to humans and animals.
Regularly Check and Change Batteries
Periodically check and change the batteries in your smoke detectors and CO detectors. Change them at the same time so you do not forget. A device with a dead battery is useless.
Know the Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Even with a carbon monoxide detector and regular system inspections, you should know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and be aware of the symptoms. Because carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas you cannot smell it, taste it or see it but you can feel the effects of it. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
- Mental confusion
- Loss of consciousness
What to do if You Suspect the Presence of CO
If you experience any of these symptoms and suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, turn off your furnace and get into the fresh air immediately. Open windows to air out the house and call 911 immediately. Follow these same steps if you have a CO detector and the alarm sounds. Get everyone outside and call for help.
Knowing the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and taking steps to protect yourself will ensure that your family stays safe and healthy. Contact ABA Heating and Cooling for all your home comfort needs. Our qualified technicians are NATE-certified and very knowledgeable on the latest products and services.