Carbon Monoxide is often refered to as the “Silent Killer”. It is refered to this because Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. CO can kill you before you are aware of its presence. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “CO causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue.” Every home should have a Carbon Monoxide Detector along with a Smoke Detector. Two-in-One Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors are also available.
Carbon Monoxide can be found in a wide variety of sources ranging from unvented kerosene and gas space heaters, gas water heaters, gas stoves, automobile exhaust and more. For a detailed list of sources you can visit the EPA website. CO can cause a variety of health problems. At low concentrations, CO can cause fatigue in healthy people and chest pain. Higher concentrations can cause impaired vision and coordination, headaches, dizziness, confusion, and nausea. Flu-like symptoms can also appear but clear up after leaving home. At very high concentrations, effects can be fatal.
All Carbon Monoxide poisionings are preventable. In order to give you and your loved ones the protection they deserve, install a CO detector in your home. In addition to installing a Carbon Monoxide Detector, the EPA recommends following additional steps in order to reduce exposure to Carbon Monoxide. These steps include:
- Keep gas appliances properly adjusted
- Consider purchasing a vented space heater when replacing an unvented one
- Use proper fuel in kerosene space heaters
- Install and use an exhaust fan vented to outdoors over gas stoves
- Open flues when fireplaces are in use
- Choose properly sized wood stoves that are certified to meet EPA emission standards. Make certain that doors on all wood stoves fit tightly.
- Have a trained professional inspect, clean, and tune-up central heating system annually. Repair any leaks promptly
- Do not idle the car inside garage