Carbon monoxide is an invisible, tasteless, odorless gas with grave potential to cause injury and even death. It’s produced in and around the home by any fuel-burning device, including gas appliances, fireplaces and any apparatus with an internal combustion engine:
- Clothes dryers
- Water heaters
- Motor vehicles
- Lawn mowers
- Power tools
- Space Heaters
- Lawn Equipment
When you breathe carbon monoxide, it replaces oxygen in your blood. It essentially crowds oxygen out of the body, making it difficult or impossible for tissues and vital organs to get enough. There are several warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning you must not ignore.
Warning Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Blurred vision
- Shortness of breath
- Losing consciousness
People who’ve been drinking or are asleep are especially vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning. Those exposed to this gas have suffered irreversible brain damage or have died before recognizing a problem in their environment.
People Especially Vulnerable to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
An unborn baby’s blood cells more readily absorb carbon monoxide than adult cells do. Children are also more susceptible, given that they take more breaths than adults. Senior citizens are more likely to experience brain damage. Those with chronic heart disease will quickly get sick from carbon monoxide.
How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
The first step in preventing carbon monoxide poisoning is to install detectors in your home. At a minimum, consider installing one carbon monoxide detector on each floor of the dwelling close to bedrooms. For maximum protection, install one in every room where someone sleeps. Make sure to regularly test detectors for proper functioning, too, and to check the batteries twice a year.
Before starting your car, open the garage door, and never let a vehicle idle in the garage. If you want to warm up your car on a cold morning, back it out.
You shouldn’t ever use fuel-burning space heaters when you’re asleep. Generators should be placed outdoors, never in the basement or garage. A gas oven shouldn’t ever be used to heat your home.
What to Do If You Suspect Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
A carbon monoxide leak is no joke. If you suspect this deadly gas is present in your living environment, the first thing to do is evacuate—immediately. If you’re experiencing symptoms, this is especially critical, as carbon monoxide can quickly incapacitate you.
Make sure everyone’s out of the house and out of danger, breathing fresh air. If possible, leave windows and doors open as you leave, but don’t bother if you’re experiencing symptoms—just get out. Once you and your family are out of danger, the next step is to call us today. You can dial 911 or call your local police or fire department. It’s critical that no one in your family reenters the home until it’s been inspected and cleared by professionals.
Who to Call for Your AC and Heating Needs
GVEC Home is an air conditioning and heating company based in Gonzales, Texas, serving the Guadalupe Valley and surrounding areas. Our services include home energy audits, heat pump installation, commercial heating services, repair, maintenance, HVAC repair and service, turnkey solar solutions, and more. Call us today at 877-561-6445 for all your HVAC needs.