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Monday, January 3, 2011

Carbon Monoxide, Winter’s Silent Killer



Carbon Monoxide is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. If you are being accidentally poisoned, you may not know it until it is too late, possibly while you sleep.

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 in the home.
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.
It is said that about 500 people die each year in the US from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning while thousands require emergency treatment.

Carbon Monoxide is a gas, weighs slightly less than air, and will tend to rise and accumulate more-so 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 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. Ensure proper venting, proper combustion, and proper detection.
Carbon Monoxide detection can only be trusted to a quality Carbon Monoxide detector. Truly, every home that has a heating system that burns oil, natural gas, kerosene, or wood, should have at least one detector. Best to have one on each level of the home.
As we head into 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.

There are quite a lot of Carbon Monoxide detectors out there to pick from. Here is a popular brand detector that has an actual readout of the present level (many do not), and is battery operated like a typical smoke alarm, and can be mounted anywhere. This is not a specific endorsement – any Carbon Monoxide detector is better than none. Browse around and find what suits you.
Front Load Battery-Operated Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Digital Display

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