When having a chimney, upkeep is one of the most important things you can do. Having professionals come in and do chimney sweeps and inspections can keep you and your family safe. When a chimney becomes damaged or as a blockage, it can stop air from escaping and trap harmful gases such as carbon monoxide in your home.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is extremely toxic. Due to these reasons, CO can kill you before you even know that it is in the air around you. If you have small levels of exposure, you may feel like you have the flu with symptoms including headaches dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. The effects can also vary depending on the age of the person exposed and how long they were around the gases. People with heart disease may experience chest pains. When levels rise symptoms may begin to impair vision and coordination more so than light exposure. In extreme cases, exposure may be fatal.
There are many ways carbon monoxide can build up. Many know but do not often think that even everyday items, such as generators, vehicles, or your chimney can be so dangerous. To prevent the chances of gasses accumulating, know how to properly use your appliances and keep them repaired as directed. If you feel that you are in a space where levels are beginning to rise evacuate the room immediately. Even if you turn off what is emitting the gas, the room will still need time to properly flush what is already present out.
Now, you can install CO alarms inside your home to warn you when levels start to rise. There should be multiple alarms spread throughout all levels of the home. You can also connect them together, so when one alarm sounds they all go off. These devices are not to be used as smoke detectors. Remember, an alarm can only work if it is properly taken car of, so make sure they are cleaned, tested, and have the batteries replaced regularly.