How To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
You can’t see it or smell it, but carbon monoxide (CO) can certainly harm you. CO gas occurs in minimal amounts naturally in the environment as a result of the deterioration of animal products. This is not generally harmful to humans, but the carbon monoxide produced in man-made fuel burning appliances such as furnaces, boilers and water heaters can be. If these devices are damaged or not working properly or operated without proper ventilation, potentially fatal levels of CO can be produced.
Unfortunately, each year there are more than 400 deaths nationally caused by accidental, non-fire carbon monoxide poisoning. Sadly, many of these deaths may have been prevented by proactive CO detection and paying attention to warning signs. Low and moderate levels of CO poisoning often result in symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, headaches, shortness of breath and fatigue. But these symptoms are often ignored because they resemble those seen in minor illnesses such as the common cold or flu. If you or your family experience any of these symptoms, check the CO levels in your home; high-level exposure to CO can cause death in just a few minutes.
Here are some common types of CO detectors that are used, but be warned: some models are not always capable of detecting low-level emissions.
- Digital Read-out. The easy-to-read digital display panel lets you see the current, and previous, carbon monoxide concentration levels in your home. This detector is highly recommended.
- Hard-wired. Connected directly to your home’s electrical system, these detectors come with a battery backup. Professional installation is recommended.
- AC Outlet Plug-in. This CO detector is plugged wall electrical outlets in your home, which makes them a convenient and popular choice. No battery replacement needed.
- Combined Smoke & CO Detectors. These units come with dual smoke and carbon monoxide sensors, eliminating the need to purchase two separate detectors. However, because smoke alarms are generally most effective when placed on the ceiling and CO detectors on the wall, these are not highly-recommended.
After installation of CO detectors in your home or business, it is time to have a thorough CO assessment performed by trained HVAC technicians. Any harmful levels of carbon monoxide will show up and where the source of it is. Call your friends at Masters today to schedule a furnace tune-up and keep your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning.
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