How Can You Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Your Family

How Can You Protect Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Your Family

Protect Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Your Family


How Can You Potect Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Your Family: Carbon monoxide, usually known as CO, is a toxic gas that is colorless and odorless, earning it the moniker “Invisible Killer.” Every year, more than 150 Americans pass away in the United States as a result of unintentional CO poisoning brought on by consumer goods, particularly generators. Other goods include fuel-burning appliances like fireplaces, stoves, water heaters, and furnaces that are broken, misused, or have the wrong vents installed.


 How is carbon monoxide (CO) produced? What is CO? 

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a fatal, tasteless, and odorless gas. It is created when a variety of fuels, such as coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, and natural gas, are burned partially. CO is also produced by vehicles, lawnmowers, power washers, portable generators, and other items driven by internal combustion engines.

How many individuals get poisoned by CO unintentionally?

Every year, roughly 170 Americans lose their lives in the United States as a result of CO from non-automotive consumer products.

These products include fireplaces, charcoal used in homes and other enclosed spaces, and broken fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, ranges, water heaters, and room heaters.

They also include portable generators that are driven by engines. At least 94 deaths from CO poisoning caused by generators were reported to the CPSC staff in 2005 alone.

It is known that 47 of these fatalities took place during power outages brought on by extreme weather, such as Hurricane Katrina. Others pass away from CO poisoning caused by non-consumer products like operating autos in adjacent garages.

Several thousand people are treated for CO poisoning in hospital emergency departments annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?


Know the Symptoms of CO Poisoning

What are the symptoms of CO poisoning
symptoms of CO poisoning

People might not be aware that they are being exposed to CO because it is tasteless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable to the human senses. Low to moderate CO poisoning’s first symptoms resemble those of the flu (but without the fever).

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Progressively worse symptoms of high levels of CO poisoning include:

  • Mental confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of muscular coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Ultimately death

The CO amount and exposure time both affect how severe the symptoms are. Residents and/or doctors may confuse mild to moderate CO poisoning symptoms for the flu while they are steadily developing residential CO problems, which occasionally results in sad deaths.

Without having initially experienced milder symptoms, victims of rapidly progressing, high-level CO exposures (such as those linked to the usage of generators in residential settings) can quickly become mentally confused and lose muscle control; if they are not saved, they will likely pass away.

Protect Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Your Family

Safety Tips

  • Every year, have a qualified service expert evaluate and maintain your house heating systems, including chimneys and vents.
  • Even with the doors and windows open, portable generators should never be used inside buildings or garages. Only use generators outside, far from your home.
  • Never use a charcoal barbecue to heat or cook inside the house. Never grill outside or in the garage.
  • Never heat with a gas range or oven.
  • Before starting a fire, open the fireplace damper, and keep it open until the ashes are completely cool. A damper that is left open may aid in preventing the buildup of toxic gases inside the house.
  • Install CO alarms with battery backup or battery-operated CO alarms on every floor of the house and outside sleeping quarters. The greatest CO alarms are those that are connected; when one sounds, they all sound.
  • Learn the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, which include headaches, drowsiness, disorientation, weakness, nausea, and vomiting. Take a quick breath of fresh air outside and contact 911 if you think you may be suffering from CO poisoning.

An Alarm Can Save Your Life

Working CO alarms are important. Install one and make regular battery checks.

CO Alarms

The CPSC advises consumers to test their smoke and CO alarms regularly and change the batteries in them once a year. Every floor of the house, as well as outside sleeping spaces and within each bedroom, should have smoke alarms.

Every floor of the house, as well as outside sleeping places, should have CO alarms installed. Basements and attics shouldn’t have CO alarms installed unless they have a sleeping area. Consumers can purchase smoke and CO combination alarms.

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What CO level is dangerous to my health?

The health consequences of CO depend on the CO concentration, the amount of time exposed, the health of the individual, and other factors. Parts per million are used to measure CO concentration (ppm).

Most people won’t show any symptoms from extended exposure to CO levels between 1 and 70 ppm, however, some persons with cardiac conditions may notice an increase in chest pain.

Symptoms, such as headache, weariness, and nausea, become more obvious as CO levels rise and stay above 70 ppm. Disorientation, coma, and death are all conceivable with prolonged CO concentrations exceeding 150 to 200 ppm.

What should You do if You have CO poisoning symptoms but no CO alarm, or if your CO alarm isn’t sounding?

Get outside and into fresh air right once if you believe you are showing any signs of CO poisoning. From a neighbor’s house, leave the house and call the fire department to report your symptoms.

If you stay in the house, you might pass out and die. Additionally, it’s critical to get medical attention right away for a correct diagnosis. Inform your physician that you believe CO poisoning is the root of your difficulties.

If you have any CO poisoning symptoms, it’s critical that you get medical help right once. Make sure a qualified service provider inspects the appliances for good operation before reusing them if the doctor confirms CO poisoning.

Are CO alarms reliable?

Yes, definitely, when we talk about how Can You Protect against Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Your Family the  CO alarms have always been and continue to be made to sound an alarm before potentially fatal CO levels are reached. Current CO alarms are less prone to nuisance alerts than earlier ones thanks to ongoing improvements in CO alarm safety regulations.

How can a consumer check the functionality of a CO alarm?

Customers should adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations. A test button checks the circuitry’s functionality rather than the sensor’s accuracy. A recommended replacement age for alarms can be found in the product literature or by contacting the manufacturer.

How should I install a CO Alarm?

The manufacturer’s installation instructions should be followed when installing CO alarms. Install CO alarms with battery backup or battery-operated CO alarms on every floor of the house and outside sleeping quarters.

The greatest CO alarms are those that are connected; when one sounds, they all sound. CO alarms can be mounted high on a wall or into a plug-in outlet. CO alarms that are hardwired or plugged in need a battery backup. Avoid areas that could be hidden by furniture or drapes, or that are close to heating vents. Installing CO alarms in kitchens or above fuel-burning equipment is not advised by the CPSC.

What should you do when the CO alarm sounds?

Never ignore a CO alarm that is sounding! It is alerting you to a danger that could be fatal.

Do not attempt to locate the source of the CO if the alert signal sounds:

  • Go outside right away to get some fresh air.
  • Call the fire department, emergency services, or 911.
  • Do a head count after dialing 911 to make sure everyone is present. Until the responders from the emergency services have given you the all-clear, DO NOT enter the building again. If you enter the house, you might pass out and die.
  • If an appliance is found to be the cause of the CO, wait until it has been thoroughly serviced by qualified professionals before using the item.

Repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 if the police let you go back home and your alarm goes off within 24 hours. Then, call a qualified appliance expert to check all fuel-burning machinery and appliances for sources of CO and to make sure they are operating properly.

If issues are found during this check, the equipment needs to be fixed right away. Make a note of any combustion equipment that the technician did not inspect, and refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or get in touch with them directly for more details on CO safety and this equipment. Verify that no motor vehicles are currently operating—or ever have—in an attached garage or close to the house.

CO is an invisible killer

Conclusion: Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious health concern that can have fatal consequences if not prevented. Families must take the necessary steps to protect themselves from this deadly gas. This includes having a carbon monoxide detector in the home, having your heating system and appliances inspected regularly, and educating family members on the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. By following these simple guidelines, families can ensure their safety and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in their homes.

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