Everyone should learn all they can about carbon monoxide poisoning. This toxic gas is especially dangerous because it has no odor or taste so you may not know it is there until it is too late. When this gas is inhaled, it replaces oxygen resulting in vital organs, such as the heart and lungs becoming affected. It doesn’t take long for this starvation of oxygen to have serious and even deadly results. Six must know facts about CO are:
Know the Main Sources of Carbon Monoxide Gas Emissions
Using space heaters that use gas or kerosene that are not properly vented means that the fumes cannot escape outside where it is harmless. Other culprits include malfunctioning chimneys, gas stoves, fireplaces, furnaces, generators and motor vehicles.
Know How to Identify the Main Symptoms of CO Poisoning
Being able to identify the symptoms of CO poisoning is vital, as this can help in quickly identifying any potential health issues. The main symptoms include confusion, dizziness, a dull headache and a feeling that you are having the flu. If the concentrations of CO are high enough, vomiting and loss of muscle control is common.
Know what to do if CO Poisoning is Suspected
If you suspect that CO poisoning has occurred you can do the following while waiting on emergency response:
- Get outside so as to get fresh air
- Remind calm and still so as to conserve whatever oxygen remains after the displacement caused by the carbon monoxide
- Seek medical attention right away. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may be kept for additional treatment
How You Can Avoid CO Poisoning
Regardless of all the reports in the news about carbon monoxide poisoning, there is a lot you can do to prevent it from happening. The first thing is to follow the instructions for installing or operating gas furnaces, grill, water heaters and other fuel burning appliances. Other prevention tips are:
- Ensuring that the flues are open when the fireplace is being used
- Maintain your chimney and have professional chimney sweep inspect and clean the chimney before using it each winter
- Use only recommended fuel in heat spacers
- Ensuring that space heaters are located in areas with good ventilation
- Do not use generators indoors
The only way to ensure the safety of yourself and others in your household, including pets, is to pay attention to the information above. When it come to carbon monoxide poisoning, prevention is definitely important. 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.