Many homes have a smoke alarm, but does your home have a carbon monoxide detector? We all know the old saying, where there’s smoke there’s fire. We have a similar saying: where there’s fire, there’s carbon monoxide. It is a natural byproduct when carbon-containing fuels are burned incompletely. Gas, oil, coal, and wood can all produce carbon monoxide, and carbon monoxide can be deadly.
If you aren’t proactive in protecting against carbon monoxide poisoning, you can experience a deadly and devastating exposure any time in your home. At White Glove Chimney, we want to help you understand the dangers of carbon monoxide and what you can do to avoid this in your home.
The Silent Killer
Carbon monoxide (CO) is often called The Silent Killer. It is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and it often goes undetected. It is extremely dangerous. When carbon monoxide is leaking into your breathable air at home, you breathe it alongside the oxygen your body needs. However, the carbon monoxide attaches to your hemoglobin or red blood cells quicker than oxygen and releases slower than oxygen, which leaves no room for oxygen in your blood and allowing no oxygen to reach your organs and tissue.
This scary reality is why it is important to have annual services for your fire units, chimneys, and appliances. It’s important to have a smoke alarm and also a carbon monoxide detector installed on every floor of your home. These devices may be the only thing that saves the lives of your family since the symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to that of the common cold and flu. According to the Mayo Clinic, CO poisoning can cause a variety of symptoms including:
- Dull headache
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
If you or anyone in your family has symptoms that indicate possible carbon monoxide exposure, you should leave the house immediately until you have had your home checked by a professional. In many areas, you can call your local fire department, and they will send a crew to check the home.
Common Causes for Carbon Monoxide Exposure/Leaks
The obvious causes of CO in your home are the fireplace and chimney system, though it’s designed to prevent a CO emergency. If your chimney system is damaged, if the damper doesn’t work properly, or there is an obstruction, CO can come into the home and put your family in danger. This is why it’s important to schedule annual chimney inspections.
Other Causes of CO Poisoning
Improper use of the garage
If you aren’t used to having a garage, it can be difficult to remember the danger it can pose if it isn’t ventilated properly. Running small engines such as weed eaters and lawn mowers and even starting the car to let it warm up can quickly fill a small one- or two-car garage with enough carbon monoxide to poison a person. Always take these and other fuel-powered tools outdoors or properly ventilate in the garage with the side door open.
Gas-powered clothes dryers, hot water heaters, and furnaces all pose a threat when they aren’t serviced regularly. A home warranty may cover annual service appointments, but your gas company will also come and inspect connections for a small fee or for free. White Glove services gas appliances too. Give us a call at 530-924-3164 today!