Monday, July 18, 2011

Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

A few weeks ago, a major bill was passed regarding Carbon Monoxide poisoning prevention. It required houses to have Carbon Monoxide detectors installed by July 1, 2011. Most of us are aware of this deadly gas, yet many forget of its stealthy characteristics that make it even more dangerous. Carbon Monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can be produced by any appliance fueled with natural gas, liquefied petroleum, oil, kerosene, coal, or wood. However, with these safety tips, you can protect yourself and others from the dangers of Carbon Monoxide:

1.)   Be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning. Even though CO detectors are designed to keep you safe from the harmful gas, knowing the symptoms will always keep you aware of any dangers. The symptoms are quite similar to those of the flu but without the fever. This means that you may experience dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, fatigue, and/or headache. Since it’s impossible to know if CO is present, knowing its effects is essential.

2.)   Make Sure Appliances are installed correctly.  As I’m sure most of you know from your own experiences, appliances installed incorrectly can definitely cause major problems. This also applies to all appliances that may produce CO. To reduce any change of a malfunction, it is advised to have these appliances installed by trained professionals. Additionally, it’s also a good idea to have these appliances inspected and tuned annually.

3.)   Make sure fuel-burning appliances are vented to the outdoors. Having a fuel-burning appliance sealed in a room without vents can cause serious poisoning if the appliance begins producing toxic gases. This is why it’s always safe to have ventilation in areas with these appliances.

4.)   Always be ready.  If you are experiencing any symptoms, the first thing is to get fresh air as soon as possible. You should also open windows and doors to get the most ventilation before leaving your home.  After doing all of this, you should contact the fire department and report your symptoms.

Following these simple precautions will help to protect you and others from CO poisoning. To learn more about carbon monoxide and its effects visit this great site. Always remember to stay prepared and keep up the summer fun!