Carbon Monoxide and Heating Season
With the heating season upon us, it’s worth mentioning the dangers of carbon monoxide (known as “CO”) and what you should do to protect your family from this dangerous gas.
The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odorless gas that is a by-product of the combustion process. In minimal doses, it’s relatively harmless, but when exhaust gasses aren’t properly vented, and a buildup of the gas occurs, it can be lethal. As a matter of fact, according to the CDC, between 2010-2015, over 2,000 people died of unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, with most deaths occurred during the winter months.
Symptoms of CO poisoning include dizziness, vomiting, disorientation, and muscle weakness. If you have these symptoms and suspect they are from Carbon Monoxide inhalation, get to fresh air and call 911.
How to Protect Your Family
The winter heating season is when the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is at its peak, and there are many steps you can take to protect your home and your family.
- Install a battery-operated CO detector in your home and check or replace the batteries when the seasons change. Place the detector in a place where you know it will wake you up if it detects and dangerous buildup.
- Have your entire heating system, including furnace, water heater, flue, and ducts checked by a qualified technician.
- If you have a fireplace, have your chimney inspected and cleaned every year. A blockage can cause a dangerous CO buildup in your home.
- Never use a gas range or portable stove for heating your home.
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