The Centers for Disease Control states that an average of 400 Americans die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning, and another 4000 are hospitalized. With anything that is dangerous, the best way to be safe is to know as much as you can about it. Having an understanding of carbon monoxide and the associated dangers can help keep you and your loved ones safe.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that is produced by the fumes released from gas burning appliances.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Identifying the symptoms of carbon monoxide is important. Some of the main symptoms to be aware of are:
- Unexplained dizziness and headaches
- Upset stomach and stomach aches
- Difficulty breathing and or shortness of breath
Since the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the flu or a stomach bug, you should not take any chances, especially if the person does not have a fever along with the symptoms.
To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning there are a few things you can do. The easiest to implement are:
- Installing a carbon monoxide alarm. These alarms should ideally be in every room of the house especially where people sleep. You can also buy portable carbon monoxide alarms to take with you on vacation.
- Ensuring that all appliances that can produce this deadly gas are in good working order. Indoor appliances that emit this deadly gas are those that burn fuels, such as grills, gas stoves, gas ranges and furnaces. Your motor vehicles also give off carbon monoxide.
- Your appliances should be installed according to manufacturer’s instructions and building codes. Large appliances, especially those that can release carbon monoxide, should be installed by a professional.
- Have your furnaces, heaters and water heaters serviced by professional annually.
- An extractor fan should be in your kitchen.
- All vents should be unobstructed so that air can flow freely in and out of your house.
- Have your chimney and associated components checked and maintained by a qualified chimney sweep.
If your alarms go off, get everyone, including pets out of the house and call emergency services. Only re-enter when the emergency response team gives the permission to do. Depending on the cause of the alarm, you may not be able to go inside until the issue is fixed. Give us a call here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service at 610-626-2439 and we’ll schedule an appointment with one of our CSIA Certified chimney sweeps to ensure that your chimney is clean and in proper working order.