Family Safety: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Happy November from NuAngel, Inc.! As the leaves begin to change and weather is turning cooler, it’s time to turn on the heat at home!
Do you know that “smell” when you turn your heater on for the first time? Our heating and cooling unit is about 20 years old. Every time the seasons change and it’s time to turn on the heat or air, we get a little nervous that the unit will need to be replaced or that it won’t work correctly. Admittedly, now that we have small children, we are more and more nervous about carbon monoxide poisoning from our gas heating unit.
About 2 weeks ago, while the weather was just beginning to cool down, we had our gas heater inspected by a professional company. They were able to test for efficiency and safety, as well as clean our units.
In addition to the battery operated carbon monoxide detector we already had in our home, we decided to purchase a higher-quality detector that plugs into the wall upstairs where our girls sleep. This detector runs on power, not batteries, and is highly sensitive and very loud. We’ll sleep a little sounder knowing that the slightest trace of carbon monoxide will be detected!
The company was so knowledgeable and safety-focused. They were able to answer all of my many questions. Here is some of the information that I learned, in addition to information from the CDC and Mayo Clinic:
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill you.
According to the CDC, “Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized.”
Everyone is at risk for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning!
What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
Symptoms may include (but are not limited to): dizziness, blurred vision, headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion, or shortness of breath.
How can I prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?
Install a carbon monoxide detector near a bedroom, where you would be able to wake up if the alarm sounded. It’s also important to place the device near an air vent.
If the device is battery operated, check the batteries at least twice a year. A good rule of thumb is to check the batteries when the time changes. Replace detectors every 5 years, unless otherwise directed on the label.
Have your heating system and hot water heater inspected yearly by a qualified professional.
Have your chimney checked by a professional every year- as the build up of debris can trap carbon monoxide.
Never heat up your car with the garage door down. Open your garage door, and preferably move your car outside if heating up before driving.
For more detailed information, please visit:
CDC: Carbon Monoxide Frequently Asked Questions
Mayo Clinic: Carbon Monoxide