Stay safe: What you need to know about Carbon Monoxide
Posted: February 27, 2018
You probably know that Carbon Monoxide (CO) is dangerous. But do you know what causes a build up of the potentially deadly gas in your home – or what to do if you or a family member experiences CO poisoning?
Here are some important CO safety basics for your New Jersey home:
- Carbon monoxide is produced when you burn gas, wood, oil, or any other fuel.
- It is often called “The Silent Killer,” since the colorless, odorless gas can cause illness, brain damage, or even death.
- Poor ventilation and faulty equipment are the most common causes of CO buildup; these can result from:
- Equipment damage
- A poorly maintained heating system
- A blocked flue or vent
- A backdraft near the heating appliance
- Over-operation of unvented appliances
- Symptoms of CO poisoning worsen as exposure to the gas increases:
- Mild Cases – Headaches, nausea, and dizziness (“flu-like symptoms”)
- Moderate Cases – Severe headaches and disorientation
- Extreme Cases – Vomiting, loss of muscular coordination, and cardiac arrest
- If someone in your home is symptomatic,
- Leave the house and get fresh air immediately.
- Call 911 or your fire department (fire departments sometimes have a special number for CO emergencies – call yours to find out).
- Visit your doctor
- Have a professional inspect your equipment before you use it again.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms outside each sleeping area, on every level of the home. Replace the batteries at least once a year, and replace the unit every five years.
- Perform routine maintenance every year on all fuel-burning appliances.
- NEVER use outdoor equipment, such as a portable generator or grill, inside the house.
- Learn and teach everyone in your home about the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning and what to do if they experience them.