Carbon Monoxide in your home is known as the silent killer. This is because it does not have a scent and you cannot see it. Knowing this, it is important to know what can cause it so that you can avoid this deadly gas from poisoning, and even killing, you or someone else in your family.
Common Causes of Carbon Monoxide in Homes
There are many things that can cause carbon monoxide to enter into your home. These are some of the most common culprits:
- Fireplaces that are wood burning or powered by gas, especially if you do not have a well ventilated space, can cause carbon monoxide t build up inside your home.
- A furnace can sometimes create carbon monoxide. This can happen because of a mechanical failure, incorrect installation, or even burner or flue problems.
- Ventless space heaters are a very common source of carbon monoxide.
- According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1978, "These heaters have been implicated in the carbon monoxide poisoning or asphyxiation deaths of at least 60 people since 1973 from carbon monoxide gas, a by-product of burning fuel." The number is much larger and there was a call for a ban in 1978. Since then, at least 8 states have banned their use.
- Gas stoves and some range tops can be rarely vented and can commonly cause carbon monoxide in a home.
- A water heater of gas dryer can cause carbon monoxide if it was not installed properly or if it is faulty.
- A running car, when left in an unventilated space such as a closed garage, can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
What Can You Do?
As you can see, there are many everyday items that are in a home but can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning. It is not feasible to get rid of these items from your home because they are things that you have come to rely on. That is why it is important to know what you can do instead. Luckily, there are a few things you can do. The first thing you can do is get a carbon monoxide and smoke detector for your home. This device will be able to detect any carbon monoxide in your home even when you can’t. It will go off when the levels are too high so that you and everyone else in your home can get out safely and call the fire department to come inspect the home. The next thing you can do is learn how to read the signs of high levels of carbon monoxide.
What Signs to Look For
Since you cannot smell the toxic gas, you need to be able to tell what the beginning stages of a poisoning looks like. These are the signs to look for:
- Flu-like symptoms without a fever
- Dull headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of muscle control
If you or any of your family members experience this, then you need to get everyone out of the home as soon as possible. You will want to call the fire department as well as your doctor once you have gotten everyone outside and into the fresh air. If you are interested in carbon monoxide monitoring in your home, be sure to contact Protect America.