Let’s skip right to the important facts at-hand—which may include some things you’ve never been aware of. For instance, did you know that the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases in the winter? The reason is that we are indoors more, with the windows closed and our heating systems running full steam ahead.
Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and potentially lethal.
When carbon monoxide builds up in your blood, it starts to replace the oxygen in your red blood cells. As more CO builds up, it starves critical organs like your brain, heart, and lungs of oxygen. This oxygen deprivation can cause serious, potentially permanent, injury or death.
Carbon monoxide poisonings often happen at night when people are sleeping. When that occurs, people can be in danger before they ever feel any symptoms.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that at least 430 people each year die in accidental CO poisonings. And 50,000 people end up in the emergency room. Infants, children, people with heart or respiratory conditions, and the elderly are especially vulnerable to CO poisoning.
The most common way that the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are described is “flu-like.” Specific symptoms include:
Carbon monoxide detectors are essential to keep everyone in your home safe. Install them on every level of your home (including the basement) and outside all sleeping areas. Change the batteries in your CO detectors every six months. CO detectors themselves need to be replaced every five years.
If you use propane in your home, we strongly recommend that you install propane leak detectors as a backup in case something like rust inside your propane tank inhibits the rotten-egg smell of propane. Propane leak detectors are inexpensive and can be bought at hardware and home improvement store, or online.
Have your Poore’s Propane service technician perform a maintenance tune-up on your heating system and water heater ever year. Here are some other important things to be aware of:
If you suspect there is a carbon monoxide buildup in your home, or if your CO detector goes out, get everyone (including the pets) out of your home IMMEDIATELY.
Then call 911 and Poore’s Propane.
If you have any questions about carbon monoxide and how it can affect you or your home, contact us. We’ll be glad to help get you up to speed—as well as lend our services to fixing anything that might be amiss!