Carbon Monoxide is odorless, colorless, and tasteless.
If you are being accidentally poisoned by carbon monoxide, you may not know it until it’s too late – possibly while you’re asleep.
Do you have a wood stove or a pellet stove? Even for oil & gas heating systems, if the combustion or venting is not right, you could be getting carbon monoxide poisoning.
Here’s what you need to know…
Carbon monoxide is produced whenever a fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, or wood is burned. The amount produced depends on the quality of the burn or combustion. A poor burn or improper ventilation will build up a high concentration of carbon monoxide in the home.
You can’t smell it, so you won’t know that it’s happening.
Carbon Monoxide in high concentrations, starves the oxygen from bodily tissues, which could lead to seizure, coma, and fatality. Preliminary symptoms are flu-like and include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, and weakness.
Apparently in the United States, more than 500 people die each year from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning while thousands more require emergency treatment.
Carbon Monoxide is a gas that weighs slightly less than air, so it will tend to rise and accumulate more upstairs in a home if the heating system is malfunctioning. However, the first floor is still vulnerable under the same circumstances.
A furnace that is not completely and efficiently burning all of its fuel (poor combustion) will produce excess Carbon Monoxide. Furnaces with air-intake filters can clog, causing poor fuel combustion and high Carbon Monoxide levels. Furnaces with improper venting (including wood stoves) will release high amounts of Carbon Monoxide into the living area.
Prevention is the key to survival.
Preventing Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a three step process.
1. Ensure proper venting
2. Ensure proper combustion
3. Ensure proper detection.
Detection can only be trusted to a quality Carbon Monoxide detector, and every home should have at least one. Best to have one on each level of the home, especially in your bedroom.
Particularly during the winter months, please consider protecting your family from the unthinkable. Just like a home smoke alarm, a Carbon Monoxide detector could save your life from winter’s silent killer.
IMPORTANT: Carbon Monoxide detectors (and smoke detectors) have a shelf life! This varies between 5 and 10 years depending… So please determine if you might need to change yours.
NOTE: I am re-posting this article because this morning I had a reminder… My carbon monoxide detector let out a loud chirp, and then later on again… I checked it out to discover that it’s six years old (end of shelf life). There was no indication on the digital screen of a carbon monoxide level (ppm was ‘000’), so I’m figuring that it’s flaking out due to its age. So I’ve just ordered two of the latest replacements. This is important folks. If you don’t have one of these, you should consider it.