Not all individuals are familiar with the hazards of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home. Carbon monoxide, known as the silent killer, is a gas created when varied fuels such as wood, natural gas, coal, oil and gasoline don’t completely burn. It is both colorless and odorless. Heating and various cooking appliances that burn different types of fuel in the home are possible sources of carbon monoxide, while vehicles and generators in attached garages or other shelters can produce carbon monoxide in very dangerous levels.
Carbon Monoxide Facts
- The dangers of carbon monoxide exposure will depend upon a variety of components from an individual’s health to their overall levels of activity. With that said, healthy individuals are less affected by concentrations of carbon monoxide than infants, people suffering with health conditions that interfere with their use of oxygen and pregnant women.
- A carbon monoxide poisoning can occur with the smallest amount of CO exposure over an extended period of time or by a much larger exposure over a shorter period of time.
- THE NFPA reports that fire departments here in the US responded in just one year’s time to an estimated 80,000 emergency incidents where a fire had not occurred but carbon monoxide was indeed present. The number of these type of emergency carbon monoxide calls received year to year has increased drastically primarily due to the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in most homes.
Useful Safety Tips
- For starters, it is best to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Ideally, locate them centrally on the outside of every sleeping area, on every level of the home and anywhere else that laws, codes and standards say they are required. It is wisest to interconnect all the detectors in your home so that when one alarm detects CO and goes off, all alarms will go off at the same time.
- Be sure when installing the CO detectors, you give focus to the manufacturer’s installation instructions with regard to how and where they should be mounted as well as ideal placement of the alarms.
- Purchase a carbon monoxide alarm that has been inspected and tested by a recognized and trusted laboratory. This information will be included on the product label.
- Once installed contact your local fire department to obtain the non-emergency phone number to call if and when your carbon monoxide alarms go off.
- After installation, get in the habit of testing your alarms at minimum once per month and be sure to install replacements in accordance with the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
- If your alarm makes small, random sounds, chances are the battery is low. If it is low, then be sure to change the battery right away. If, however, after changing the battery the audio continues to make sounds, then it is best to call the fire department and ensure that there is no CO present in the home.
- When the CO alarm does go off, be sure to move everybody, including pets, to an outdoor location. Once at the safe location, give a call out to the fire department and remain in the safe location until such time the emergency personnel arrive and indicate it is safe to return to the home.
- If ever you need to start your vehicle in advance and it is parked in your garage attached to your home, always back the vehicle out of the garage before starting it.
- Also, to avoid CO poisoning in the home, be sure that all vents for the HVAC system, stove, fireplace, or wood burning stove are kept clear at all times and be sure to only use charcoal or gas-powered cooking grills outdoors and never in the home.
- Finally, if ever you need to run a generator be sure you use it only in an outdoor location that is away from doors, windows and other openings to your home.
Carbon monoxide can be deadly which is why we have taken this time to provide you with these useful facts and safety tips with regard to carbon monoxide. To learn more about CO poisoning feel free to reach out to the professionals here at South Nashville Heating & Cooling and, don’t forget. If you are in need of top-rated HVAC products, repairs or services, then don’t delay in contacting our expert team today. We look forward to serving you and to providing you with the highest quality HVAC services this side of Nashville.