Every year thousands of Americans get sick due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Forbes reported that 20,000 to 30,000 people each year become ill due to carbon monoxide poisoning and that approximately 500 people die from it. Most people that are affected by carbon monoxide poisoning are affected in their own homes.
How to Check Your House for Carbon Monoxide
Catching carbon monoxide leaks in your home can be extremely tricky. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless so it is impossible for humans to detect on their own. Thankfully it is easy simple to purchase a carbon monoxide detector for your home. Some states and counties make carbon monoxide detectors mandatory for many homes but other states do not have any mandates concerning this simple detector.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms
If you do not have a carbon monoxide detector or it is not working properly you may begin exhibiting symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Common symptoms may include dull headache; weakness; dizziness; nausea or vomiting; shortness of breath; confusion; blurred vision; or loss of consciousness. If you are intoxicated or sleeping carbon monoxide poisoning can be extremely dangerous. You can have irreversible damage or even die before you even realize you are experiencing any of these symptoms and receive medical treatment. If you believe you have carbon monoxide poisoning you should get fresh air immediately and seek emergency medical care. You will want to ask other people that live in your home if they are experiencing symptoms as well. If carbon monoxide exposure goes untreated it can lead to permanent brain damage; heart damage; fetal death or miscarriage; or death.
Who is Most at Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
There are certain people who are in extra danger if they are exposed to carbon monoxide. Unborn babies are more likely to be harmed from carbon monoxide poisoning. Their fetal blood cells take up carbon monoxide more readily than adult blood cells do. Young children do not take as many breaths as adults do. This makes them more likely to have larger complications if they are exposed to carbon monoxide. If older adults are exposed they are more likely to develop brain damage. Anyone with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems are also more likely to get sick from exposure to carbon monoxide. If you have anyone in your home that fall into these categories you will definitely want to have carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
Causes of Carbon Monoxide in Your Home
So how does carbon monoxide get in the air? Any time a fossil fuel is burned carbon monoxide is produced. Fossil fuels are used to power ovens, grills, heaters, cars, furnaces and boilers. When these devices are working properly only a little bit of carbon monoxide is produced but if there is a problem with any of them higher levels of carbon monoxide occur.
Furnace & Boiler Heating Inspections, Tune Ups, Repairs & More in Manhattan, New York
Thankfully there are ways to prevent carbon monoxide levels from reaching unsafe levels. First make sure that your heating system, water heater, and other fuel-burning appliances are inspected by a qualified technician each year. NY NJ AC Connection can send a technician to your house to check your heating system for any leaks that could lead to unsafe carbon monoxide levels. Only use emergency generators, grills, and space heaters in areas that are appropriate. Emergency generators should be outside at least 20 feet from windows or doors. Grills need to be used outdoors only. Space heaters need to be used when you are awake so that someone can monitor them. Space heaters should only be in rooms that are well ventilated. Your car or truck’s exhaust system should be checked each year. Make sure that you do not leave your car or truck running in your garage. But most importantly make sure that you have carbon monoxide detectors in your home! We hope that this information on carbon monoxide poisoning helps keep your family safe! Contact us for all your heating needs this winter!