Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

It is very important to remember safety tips about carbon monoxide, given the latest story that happened right here in our area, where a family of 6 was hospitalized due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Here are some tips and safety precautions to follow:

Carbon Monoxide is a gas that has no odor, and is very poisonous! It can make a person experience flu-like symptoms. In the wake of that exact thing happening to a local family, a Press Conference was held to give further information about this gas for those who may not be aware. In the home, heating and cooking devices that burn fuel can be sources of carbon monoxide.

An annual appliance inspection can help prevent any potential problems. Carbon monoxide detectors provide a second line of defense, but they should not be used as a substitute for an annual furnace inspection!

In addition to an annual inspection, customers should change furnace filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions to receive the best possible value for their heating dollars. A thorough inspection should include the following:

– Lubricating the blower bearings and blower motor as recommended

– Visually inspecting all vents, the heat exchanger and filters.

-Checking the pilot light if the furnace has one.

-Clearing the main burners.

-Clearing the furnace area of any dust or combustible materials

-Cleaning dust from the blower compartment

-Do not forget the other gas appliances such as water heaters, gas logs, vent-free heaters, ranges and clothes dryers.

To help prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

– When warming a vehicle, move it out of the garage, make sure to clear snow away, and make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked.

– During and after a snowstorm, make sure the vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fire place are clear of snow build-up.

– A generator should be used outdoors.

– Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO, only use them outside!

– Never use stove or oven to heat your home

It is important to also note that about 170 people in the United States die every year from CO produced by non-automotive consumer products.

Symptoms of CO poisoning:

-Headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, and dizziness.

-High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms including:

-Mental confusion, vomiting, loss of muscular coordination, loss of consciousness, and ultimately death.

Most people will not experience any symptoms from prolonged exposure to CO levels of approximately 1 to 70 ppm but some heart patients might experience an increase in chest pain. As CO levels increase and remain above 70 ppm, symptoms become more noticeable and can include the ones mentioned above!

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