Around the holiday season, people have plenty on their minds. Unfortunately, the one thing that is often overlooked this time of year is one of the most important to remember: increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Every year, results in the deaths of hundreds of Americans die and the hospitalization of tens of thousands, according to the Center for Disease Control. By following a few simple pieces of advice, people can virtually eliminate the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Don’t Use Gas Burning Equipment Indoors

Carbon monoxide poisoning is just the buildup of carbon monoxide in a poorly or non-ventilated area. For the most part, it’s possible to avoid excessive carbon monoxide by avoiding poorly ventilated or enclosed spaces, especially those that have equipment that burn fuel. Carbon monoxide is a natural byproduct of combustion, which means that operating generators, heaters, or engines in an enclosed area can cause problems. It’s also incredibly important to use all fuel burning equipment as it was designed to be used. For example, a gas stove should NEVER be used for heating.

Maintain Your Heating Equipment

Along with combustion, carbon monoxide is also produced by chimneys, chemical (catalytic) heaters, and grills (either gas or charcoal). Faulty valves or tubes could cause leaks that dramatically increase the amount of carbon monoxide such equipment produces. The best option for maintaining your this equipment will be a qualified and certified technician. Many states require licensing for such work, so make sure any professional you hire to maintain your heating equipment maintains proper certification.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms

One of the biggest dangers associated with carbon monoxide poisoning are the vague symptoms. People experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning will feel a range of symptoms that are typically associated with other, more common illnesses, like the flu. Carbon monoxide might include the following symptoms:

  1. nausea
  2. chest pain
  3. headache
  4. confusion
  5. vomiting

If you think you might be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, get to a well-ventilated area and call for medical assistance.

How to Monitor for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The best way to monitor for carbon monoxide in your home is with a wireless alarm system, like the one offered by Protect America. A wireless home security system can be customized to defend against a wide range of dangers, including carbon monoxide poisoning. Protect America customers can add carbon monoxide to their home security package at any time, during the ordering process or after. Unlike the basic home security system, customers will have to pay for the carbon monoxide monitor. There is also a small additional fee added to the monthly monitoring agreement.