Sometimes the things you can’t see are the scariest of all. This would be a very fitting description for carbon monoxide (CO), a gas that could very easily be present in your home without you or anyone ever being aware of its presence; this is what makes it so easy for people to succumb to its effects. Educating yourself on the subject is of the utmost importance for you and your family.
Knowing the dangers associated with CO poisoning is important for everyone, as prevention is the key to avoiding this tragic but preventable fate. Nearly one thousand people die accidentally from non-fire related CO poisoning each year. A large percentage of the accidental deaths are directly linked to fuel-burning appliances that are faulty, improperly used, or incorrectly vented. Northeastern Masonry & Chimney is here to help you provide everyone in your household with the protection they deserve from these dangers.
Carbon monoxide is the real deal…
You cannot see, taste, or smell carbon monoxide, hence the reason it has earned a rather befitting nickname: the silent killer. At high enough levels, CO can kill a person in minutes. It is created whenever a fuel is burned. When fuel-burning appliances are maintained and used properly, the amount of CO produced doesn’t typically reach hazardous levels; however, if these same appliances aren’t properly maintained or are used incorrectly, dangerous levels of CO can be produced. As a precautionary measure, having your heating equipment cleaned and inspected by a professional annually is an absolute must.
Your body wouldn’t lie to you…
Learning the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and the steps you can take to minimize your risk of exposure are an integral part to keeping you and your loved ones safe.
• Moderate levels of CO exposure can cause severe headaches, dizziness or disorientation, confusion, nausea, and/or fainting.
• It’s possible to die if these levels persist for an extended period of time.
• Low levels of CO can cause shortness of breath, mild nausea and headaches, and may have longer-term effects on overall health.
Because many of these symptoms are similar to those of more common ailments—the flu and/or food poisoning—many people don’t even think of carbon monoxide poisoning as an option when they start feeling bad. This is their first mistake. If these symptoms only appear when you’re in the house and then get better when you leave home, CO poisoning could very likely be the reason. Getting fresh air as soon as any of these symptoms surface is key.
Detecting carbon monoxide in your home is critical…
Another key precautionary measure is installing at least one carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home, especially near sleeping quarters. If you install a battery-powered unit, plan to check the batteries regularly to ensure your home is still being monitored. Upgrading each of these units every 5-7 years is also strongly recommended, as it will help to ensure that you have the most up-to-date technology monitoring the air quality conditions within your home. You can never be too careful when it comes to life-or-death issues!
We implore you…
Make sure to have your fuel-burning appliances inspected and cleaned by a certified professional prior to the beginning of every heating season. Ensure that the flues and chimneys are connected, in good working condition, and unobstructed. If you or anyone in your home notices symptoms of CO poisoning, go outside to get fresh air right away, and seek medical attention immediately thereafter. Lastly, install carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Remember, CO cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled; the only defense against this silent killer is forethought, knowledge, and prevention. It’s never too late to make the right decision!
At Northeastern Masonry & Chimney, we know how important your family’s health and safety is to you. That’s why we do our best to provide you with the highest level of comprehensive chimney and venting services. Our experience and dedication to customer care is sure to exceed your expectations. Call us today to experience a whole new level of service. You’ll be glad you did!