If you’ve been lucky, then you don’t associate carbon monoxide with anything other than weapons used by villains in James Bond movies. But normal civilians come in contact with this chemical all the time and it’s important we all learn a little more about it. Besides learning what it can do to you, it’s important to have a carbon monixide detector installed to help keep you safe no matter what.
Did You Know?
You San’t See It, Taste It or Smell It
Carbon monoxide doesn’t have an odor, color or flavor, so the only way to detect it is by installing a carbon monoxide detector. If you detect it on your own, then it’s too late and an ambulance should already be on its way.
Where It Comes From
Carbon monoxide is produced by burning fuel, such as charcoal, kerosene, gas, wood and propane. Some household appliances like heaters, clothing dryers, furnaces, barbecues, stoves, fireplaces and power generators can also produce carbon monoxide.
It Can Work Quickly or Slowly
If inhaled in large amounts, carbon monoxide can be deadly – and fast. But slow and small leaks of carbon monoxide can also affect someone’s health over time, potentially leading to fatal results.
What It Does
Carbon monoxide makes it difficult for your body to circulate oxygen. If you come in contact with it, carbon monoxide starts to take the place of oxygen in your red blood cells, leading to death.
Some People are More Sensitive than Others
Individuals with heart or respiratory conditions, as well as kids and the elderly, are more sensitive to carbon monoxide poisoning than others. It’s particularly important to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home if you share a home any of these individuals.
How to Reduce the Chances of a Leak
Have a professional install any of the previously mentioned appliances. If you’ve already set these up, have a professional come out and inspect your installation. They can make sure you have taken the right precautions to direct any possible carbon monoxide leaks out of your home. They can also instruct you on the maintenance of these appliances to help reduce the risk of a carbon monoxide leak.
Where to Install Your Detector
While we set up smoke and fire detectors on the ceiling, to catch rising flame, you should set up your carbon monoxide detectors at about knee-level. Carbon monoxide doesn’t rise the way smoke and fire does, but hangs a bit lower. Ideally, you’ll get several detectors and put them throughout your home, but if you have to be selective about the locations, put them near bedrooms. Should the alarm sound while you’re asleep, you want to make certain you hear it instantly so you can exit your home. Staying asleep while carbon monoxide circulates in your home could be deadly.
Symptoms of Poisoning
If you experience any combination of confusion, headache, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, abnormal reflexes, a struggle to breathe or irritability, you may have come in contact with carbon monoxide and should go to a hospital immediately.
Unless you get rid of all of your modern luxuries, there’s a good chance you have a source of carbon monoxide in your home. Don’t risk going without a carbon monoxide detector – get one installed today and help keep you and your whole family safe.