Carbon monoxide (CO) is odorless, colorless, tasteless, and deadly. CO in high levels can be fatal, but there can be other long-lasting effects, such as brain and heart damage, even at lower levels.
Approximately 430 people die annually from carbon monoxide poisoning. As a New Jersey homeowner, it’s vital to understand the steps to take to keep your family safe from this silent killer.
Carbon monoxide is a by-product produced by appliances or any fuel-burning device in your home. Devices such as a:
Any of the listed appliances fueled by gas or kerosene can emit CO, especially if they’re old and not working correctly or installed without proper ventilation. Also, if your gas heat exchanger is cracked or broken, dangerous fumes can literally kill your family. Vehicle exhaust fumes inside your garage can also become dangerous emitters of carbon monoxide.
Keep in mind, carbon monoxide doesn’t irritate your nose or throat, so you won’t know if you’re breathing it in.
You won’t have to worry about a home explosion because CO isn’t combustible like natural gas or kerosene, but it’s still just as dangerous. Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms to be on the lookout for from minor to severe are:
If you believe you’ve been exposed to CO, you need to shut off appliances, open your windows, go outside and call 911 for medical assistance and let them know you may have a carbon monoxide leak in your home.
Here are simple ways to make sure your family stays safe from carbon monoxide:
Your garage may hold all types of gas and kerosene-powered machinery. Most homeowners start their cars to warm them up in the garage, which lets CO fumes fill the area. Be safe and move your vehicle out of the garage to let it warm up.
During the cold months, it might be tempting to run a kerosene space heater in your garage or shed while you’re working there. Just like in your home, it’s a dangerous idea to do so. It would take no time at all for the CO fumes to fill the small space and make you sick – or worse.
Mark Lindsay & Son are the indoor air quality experts in West Milford and Northern New Jersey. We’ll help you protect your family and home from the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment to discuss your CO preventative measures.