Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas produced by burning fuels. When a person is exposed to carbon monoxide, it deprives the heart, brain, and other vital organs of oxygen. Each year, non-fire-related carbon monoxide poisoning cases are responsible for 20,000 emergency room visits, more than 4,000 hospital visits, and more than 400 fatalities in the United States (source).
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be subtle. The symptoms from low to severe are as follows:
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of muscle coordination
Carbon monoxide is especially dangerous to individuals who are asleep in the home. Severe carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to death. While very scary, carbon monoxide problems can be prevented fairly easily and efficiently within your home. Here’s how to protect your family from the dangers of carbon monoxide:
- Install carbon monoxide detectors in central locations, like each sleeping area, on each level of the home, and near attached garages.
- Test alarms monthly
- Never let engines run inside a garage - even if the door is open
- Keep your dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace vents clear of debris and/or snow
- Never run a generator in a home, garage, or crawl space
- Have your furnace, water heater, and other appliances serviced by a qualified technician once a year
If your carbon monoxide detector alarm sounds, you should:
- Exit the house (don’t forget to bring the pets!)
- Check everyone for signs of carbon monoxide poisoning
- Call 911
- DO NOT re-enter your home until the authorities have cleared it
We at Parsons Heating, Air Conditioning, & Appliance Service offers certified technicians to inspect your furnace or other appliances for carbon monoxide leaks. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you believe you might have a leak. We believe an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure - especially when it comes to the safety of your family!