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What You Should Know About Carbon Monoxide in Your Home
Protect Your Family and Your Home From Carbon Monoxide
As you probably know, carbon monoxide is dangerous.
But do you know how carbon monoxide build-up occurs in your home, what it can do to you in your family, and what to do if you or someone in your home shows signs of carbon monoxide poisoning?
Here are the basic facts about carbon monoxide and why it’s so dangerous.
- Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas. It’s created when any kind of fuel is burned. So whether it’s propane, heating oil, gasoline, wood or coal, carbon monoxide can build up.
- Because carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, it can build up to dangerous levels inside your home without you or anyone else realizing it.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning happens when carbon monoxide builds up in your bloodstream and the oxygen in your red blood cells is replaced with carbon monoxide. That deprives vital organs like your brain, lungs and heart of the oxygen they need, which can cause serious injury or death.
- If carbon monoxide poisoning happens while you’re sleeping, you and your family may never wake up.
- Infants, people with respiratory issues or chronic heart disease, and the elderly are most vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is more common than you may think. More than 20,000 people end up in the emergency room each year and more than 4,000 are hospitalized because of carbon monoxide poisoning. Tragically, more than 400 Americans die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning that isn’t linked to a fire.
That’s why it’s so important that you know about carbon monoxide, danger signs to look for, what to do if you notice CO, and how you can prevent it.
Signs of CO poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” Here are specific symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Upset stomach or nausea
If you notice these symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning in yourself or anyone else in your home, take these steps IMMEDIATELY.
- Get fresh air right away by opening doors and windows
- Leave the house right after that
- Call 911
- Report your symptoms to your doctor
- Don’t go back in your home until emergency personnel say it’s safe to do so
- Don’t use your appliances until they have been professionally inspected
Prevent CO danger
The good news is, you can do a lot to prevent carbon monoxide build-up in your Hudson Valley home.
- Install CO detectors on every level of your home. There should also be one outside all bedrooms. Replace the batteries once a year, test them twice a year. If your CO detector is five years old or older, replace it.
- Have your heating system professionally maintained. Regular maintenance gives your Bottini Fuel professional service technician the opportunity to spot and repair problems before they become a hazard.
- Give space for vents. If exhaust vents are blocked, carbon monoxide can build up to dangerous levels inside your home. Clear all exhaust vents, flues and other lines after storms so the exhaust can be dispersed safely out of your home. Use a broom and not a shovel to prevent damaging your equipment.
- Be smart with your car. If you have an attached garage, don’t let the car engine run while your car is the garage even for a few minutes. If you want to warm up the car before going somewhere, move it outside of the garage first.
- Watch your pets. They may show signs of CO poisoning before they appear in you or any other people in your home. If a pet seem sick or are unusually slow to wake up, take them outside, check your carbon monoxide detectors and open windows. Also, get your pet to the veterinarian right away.
- Keep outdoor equipment outside. NEVER use barbecue grills, portable generators, or outdoor deck and patio heaters indoors. They are not equipped to safely vent and can create carbon monoxide build-up inside your home. Don’t use your gas stove or oven for heating, either.
Bottini Fuel cares about our customers and puts your safety first at all times. Have more questions about carbon monoxide safety? Get in touch with us and we’ll be glad to help!
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