Carbon Monoxide 101
Posted: January 13, 2017
Chances are you know that Carbon Monoxide (CO) is dangerous. But how much do you really know about CO?
Here are some CO safety basics for you and your family:
What carbon monoxide (CO) is
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, odorless gas produced when you burn propane, wood, oil, or any other kind of fuel. If it accumulates in your home can cause illness, disorientation, or even death.
How CO accumulates
Carbon monoxide usually builds up due to either improper ventilation or equipment breakdown. Conditions that can lead to these problems include:
- A blockage in your vent or flue
- A heating system that is damaged or poorly maintained
- Backdrafts near the heating source
- Unvented appliances operating for too long
Symptoms of CO Poisoning
Symptoms of CO poisoning worsen as exposure to the gas increases.
- In mild cases – Flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and fatigue
- In moderate cases – Severe headaches, drowsiness, and disorientation
- In extreme cases – Unconsciousness, convulsions, and death if left untreated
What to do if someone has CO poisoning symptoms
- Get fresh air immediately. Open windows and doors, then leave the house
- Call 911
- Report your symptoms to your doctor
- Do not operate your appliances again until a professional inspects and repairs them!
3 best ways to prevent CO poisoning
- Have a CO exposure plan – Teach everyone living in your home the signs of CO poisoning and what to do if someone is experiencing them
- Maintain your equipment – Perform routine maintenance on all fuel-burning appliances – and never attempt a home heating repair yourself!
- Install CO detectors – They are inexpensive and they work. Make sure they’re on every level of your home.
Stay safe this winter! Contact us today to learn more, or to service your propane or heating oil equipment!