Protect Your Family From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

How to Protect Your Family From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

carbon monoxide detector

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.

What is Carbon Monoxide & Where Does it Come From?

Carbon monoxide is a by-product produced by appliances or any fuel-burning device in your home. Devices such as a:

  • Furnace
  • Water Heater
  • Stove
  • Space Heater

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.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms

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:

  • Mild Exposure – Symptoms due to mild exposure to carbon monoxide causes flu-like symptoms that are sometimes overlooked, such as headaches, fatigue, and nausea.
  • Medium Exposure – Headaches, an accelerated heart rate, disorientation, and blurred vision.
  • Extreme Exposure – This usually leads to seizures, respiratory failure, and then death. It’s been reported too often that someone exposed to carbon monoxide falls asleep and never regains consciousness.

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.

Steps To Protecting Your Family & Your New Jersey Home

Here are simple ways to make sure your family stays safe from carbon monoxide:

  • Never heat your home with a cooking device. An oven, camp stove, or grill that emanates CO. You may never wake up, if you go to bed while they’re emitting gas.
  • Make sure you keep up the maintenance of your heating units. If your furnace units are old or faulty, replace them as soon as possible. Not doing so puts you and yours in danger from carbon monoxide leaks.
  • Replace appliances properly. If you replace your central heating or air conditioning system, make sure they’re installed by professionals and have proper ventilation.
  • Be sure to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home. If you keep up with maintenance, your CO detector will be the most effective. If you have a home with more than one level, put a detector on each one for extra safety.

Carbon Monoxide In Your Garage

Gas-Powered Machinery

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.

Kerosene Space Heaters

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.

Talk With An Indoor Air Quality Specialist

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.

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