Beware Of Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of
combustion. When anything burns, it will produce carbon monoxide.
Wood burning stoves, gas cooking stoves, and kerosene heaters can all produce
carbon monoxide. If you have a gas furnace, there will also be the chance
of leaking carbon monoxide, so a yearly check of your furnace is definitely
called for. A running car is a great source of carbon monoxide, and
people who leave their cars running in a garage beneath their home are putting
themselves and their families at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide is odorless, so you will not be able to detect it by smell.
Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is usually detected
by the symptoms it is causing. These symptoms will include headache, nausea,
exhaustion, and dizziness. Years ago, we had a car that had a leaky exhaust
system (unknown to us). I remember returning home after an hour’s winter drive
and thinking that I just wanted to lie down and die. Fortunately, once you get
fresh air, you will revive quickly, which is what happened with me. However, it
is an experience I would never want to repeat.
You Should Do
If you are experiencing symptoms of
carbon monoxide poisoning, open as many windows as possible immediately. Get
outside and fill your lungs with fresh air. In most cases, this will be enough
to return you to normal. If there are children present, or if you still feel
faint or ill, call 911 immediately to get the proper treatment. You will also
have to identify what caused the poisoning in the first place and remedy this
immediately. Your gas furnace should definitely be checked by your gas provider
before being used again.
To Prevent Carbon Monoxide In Your Home
Probably the most important thing
you can do as regards carbon monoxide is to install a carbon monoxide detector.
This will give you warning if levels are elevated. Any of your appliances that
run with an open flame, such as a water heater, furnace, or propane
refrigerator should be thoroughly checked by a qualified technician once a year
to make sure they are operating properly.
While it is true that having a
garage beneath your house is convenient, it can also be dangerous if you run
your car to warm it up during the winter. It is all too easy to forget how long
it has been running, especially if you are simply going shopping, so make sure
not to run the car while it is still in the garage.
People with gas stoves will often
use the stove for heating when the electricity goes out in winter. However,
this is one of the worst things you can do; it will produce a lot of carbon
monoxide, especially if you keep the oven door open. If you must run your gas
stove for heat, do so for no more than an hour at a time, with the door closed.
Additionally, any heaters that have a flame must be used with adequate
Relocating until your Home is Safe Again
It is a scary thought that your home could be so dangerous. When that becomes a reality, make sure you have a plan until your home is safe to come back to again. A supply of emergency
shelter and sleeping supplies is good to have in case you have to evacuate your home. Also, make sure you make a plan and share it with your family. When you have to be away from home for awhile, have a bug out bag created to keep your family as safe and as comfortable as possible.