What Are You Doing to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Protect Your Family from the ‘Silent Killer’ with These Products and Tips
Carbon monoxide can affect you way before you even notice it’s seeped into your home. Initial symptoms are often disregarded before a person loses consciousness and is unable to get away from a dangerous situation. According to the Consumer Product Commission, more than 150 people are killed each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Since these tragedies tend to spike in the winter months, it’s important to prepare your home by following these tips and investing in the right carbon monoxide detectors.
Properly Maintain Carbon Monoxide Sources
The first step in protecting your family from carbon monoxide poisoning is to maintain all potential CO sources properly. Poisonings spike in the winter when many heating appliances are used that release CO fumes. It's important to schedule these devices for regular maintenance. Meanwhile, generators, grills, and pressure washers should only be used as directed and never inside the home.
Cars are also major contributors to CO deaths in the United States. For one, you should never run your car in a garage or enclosed space. During the winter, accumulated snow could block your exhaust pipe and put you at higher risk, so it’s important to check your vehicle after any major storms.
Invest in Monitored Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Even if all your devices are properly maintained, CO contamination can still happen. To be able to respond as soon as the gas reaches dangerous levels, you need to install monitored carbon monoxide detectors. Some things to consider when installing detectors in your Long Island home:
- Only use UL-certified detectors that include a battery back-up or are battery-powered.
- Link your CO detectors to your home alarm, so your family is notified as soon as there is a leak.
- Opt for monitored CO detectors so your central station can react accordingly as soon as dangerous levels are detected.
- Sign up for service plans to check your carbon monoxide detector annually to ensure it is functioning properly and to check if any batteries need to be replaced.
- Work with a professional installation company like Lowitt Alarms to make sure the detector is installed properly.
- Not sure when your CO detector was installed? Detectors have a shelf life so reach out to a professional to see if it’s time to upgrade to a new model.
Recognize and Respond to CO Poisoning Symptoms
Common symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, headache, nausea, and confusion. At higher levels or with longer exposure, CO poisoning can lead to suffocation, loss of consciousness and brain damage. How can you differentiate these symptoms from the common flu? It is likely CO poisoning if multiple people in your home are affected simultaneously, symptoms are worse in certain areas of your house, or if they get worse shortly after turning on a device that generates CO fumes.
If you suspect that you are suffering from CO poisoning, you should immediately leave the house and get fresh air. If you have time, try to turn off non-electrical appliances and open all doors; but remember that above all, you need to react quickly before you get disoriented or lose consciousness.