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Beware of Carbon Monoxide

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.

be aware of carbon monoxide

Symptoms 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.

What 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.

How 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 ventilation.

Bug Out Bag

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.