Carbon Monoxide - The Silent Killer

Winter is almost here, and with the cold weather brings a much higher risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon Monoxide is a gas that comes from burning fossil fuels, such as gasoline, kerosene, methane, propane, oil coal and wood.

It is impossible to detect with the five human senses, but it can cause illness and even death.
It harms us by replacing the oxygen in the blood and it can cause suffocation in sufficient quantity. Low doses cause symptoms that can feel like the flu. Increasing quantities of carbon monoxide in the blood will cause headache, nausea, dizziness, collapse, coma and... finally death.

What are some of the sources of Carbon Monoxide? Poisonous Carbon Monoxide enters house-hold air usually from these different areas where fossil fuels are burning.

  • Automobile exhaust
  • Home heating equipment (space heaters, gas furnace, kerosene heater, wood stove, water heater)
  • Stoves
  • Charcoal grills

Of these three, automobile emissions kill the most people each year.

NOTE: The risk of Carbon Monoxide poising is higher for infants, 4 years old or less, and for the elderly, 75 years or older

10 Safety Tips

1. Shut off the car motor and take keys out of the ignition as soon as your car is parked in the garage. If the garage is attached to the home, always warm up the vehicle outside of your house, never in the garage.

2. Have your vehicle inspected every year for exhaust leaks.

3. Have all fuel-burning equipment checked each year to make sure combustion is clean and there are no risks of CO leakage. Do this before heating season as to leave time for any necessary repairs.

4. Make sure heating equipment is located where an adequate supply of fresh air is available for safe combustion.

5. When using a fire place make sure the flue is open to asure the fireplace is safely vented out of the house.

6. Kerosene heaters are illegal in many states. Make sure they are leagal in your state before buying or using one.

7.Gas-fired barbeque grills give off dangerous CO fumes. They must never be used inside a houseor garage, not even with the door open.

8. When buying new heating or cooking equipment, choose one with approval by an independent testing laboratory.

9.When buying a new home, have a qualified inspector make sure that all heating and cooking systems are in safe working order, also the garage must be adequately sealed off from the house.

10. When camping, use only battery powered heaters and lights in tents, trailers and motor homes. Never use fuel burning appliances inside.

Consider purchasing a CO detector, they are required by law in many states. Carbon Monoxide detectors are electric warning devices that sound an alarm when the CO gas in the air reaches a health threatening level... even before actual symptoms can be noticed.

Be safe this winter, don't let trying to stay warm kill you.

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