One of the first facts that people learn about carbon monoxide is that it is an extremely toxic gas. What makes it even more dangerous is the fact that it is odorless and colorless. You could be exposed to it without even knowing. When someone breathes in this gas, it replaces the oxygen in the blood. This can damage the major organs, so even if the person survives, they can be left with lifelong health problems.
Carbon monoxide inhalation has a number of symptoms such as:
- Vision problems
Unfortunately, with exposure you can be quickly overcome, so there may be no chance to react in order to save your life. There have also been cases where people were exposed to small amounts for long periods. Many of them have been left with brain damage, heart problems or breathing difficulties.
What Causes Carbon Monoxide?
This gas is produced by the burning of any type of fuel, including wood, propane and coal. It can come from cars, powerboats, kerosene space heaters, gas appliances, wood stoves and fireplaces. When there is poor combustion of carbon, that is, not enough air, carbon monoxide will be produced. Poor venting can cause carbon monoxide to leak, but a poor draft can be problematic as well. If there is not enough air coming inside to force the carbon monoxide out, it will remain inside. Damaged heating appliances can also lead to the presence of carbon monoxide in the home. Using generators indoors has been shown to be one of the factors in carbon monoxide related deaths.
Carbon Monoxide Safety
To keep carbon monoxide from becoming a danger in your home, maintain your heating appliances, and ensure that you get the chimney inspected at least once each year. A chimney professional can alert you to any issues that might lead to exposure to this dangerous gas. Further protect your family by installing carbon monoxide detectors. This device will emit an alarm if the gas is detected, giving you the chance to get out safely. Before the winter season, perform a check of all detectors to make sure that they are working correctly. Avoid leaving your car running in the garage or any other enclosed space. Make sure that all vents are clean, and do some routine cleaning of the fireplace as well.
Fireplace Safety and Chimney Inspections in Drexel Hill
We have two CSIA Certified chimney sweeps standing by to assist you with your chimney needs. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection or cleaning. We provide chimney services throughout the Main Line region.