At some point in time, you’ve probably heard the term ‘carbon monoxide.’
You’ve possibly also heard that it’s poisonous and that it can be very dangerous.
But did you know that this silent killer can affect anyone?
Even if you have a nice, newer house that’s properly ventilated, this deadly gas can still build up if a ventilating accident occurs or if something goes wrong.
And unlike fire, you won’t see, hear, or smell the danger—because it’s literally undetectable to the human senses.
Thankfully, we now have carbon monoxide detectors that can be deployed to help prevent this danger and warn you if this poisonous gas is starting to build up in your house.
So let’s talk about exactly what carbon monoxide detectors are, what they do, and why they’re important.
What Is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that’s produced whenever a fossil fuel source (wood, coal, propane, natural gas, gasoline, etc.) is burned.
If people breathe it in, it can make them sick—and if you breathe in enough of it, it can even be fatal.
It’s created by heaters, furnaces, cars, etc. And even though it’s all around us, proper ventilation usually protects us.
Until something goes wrong with the ventilation.
And this is where it can get dangerous.
How Is Carbon Monoxide Dangerous?
Carbon monoxide is dangerous to the human body when it’s inhaled because it displaces oxygen in the blood. This leads to oxygen deprivation in the heart, brain, and other vital organs of the body.
But one of the truly dangerous things about it is that if you inhale enough of it, it can literally cause you to lose consciousness and suffocate within minutes—all before you even know something is wrong.
What Are The Symptoms Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms can include:
- Tightness in the chest
- Sudden chest pain
- Loss of consciousness
- Muscle weakness
Of course, symptoms may vary from person to person—and oftentimes, the symptoms appear mildly enough that they don’t raise immediate concern—which just contributes to the danger.
It’s also possible to inhale unsafe levels of carbon monoxide without showing any symptoms!
What Types Of Dwellings Are Most At Risk For Carbon Monoxide Buildup?
Homes with fuel-burning appliances and those with attached garages are most likely to put you at risk for CO poisoning. Some common sources of carbon monoxide in homes are fuel-burning appliances like water heaters, furnaces, boilers, clothes dryers, cars running in the garage, etc.
Homes that contain any possible CO sources can obviously be at risk. But even apartments that don’t contain any obvious CO sources can sometimes put you at risk, as you never know what your neighbors are doing.
In apartments, even if you aren’t engaging in any dangerous activities that could put you at risk for CO poisoning, your neighbors could be doing so—and thus, this could put you at risk even in situations where you may not be burning any fuel to directly cause it.
The Importance Of Installing A Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Carbon monoxide alarms are small electronic devices specifically designed to warn you of an unusually high buildup of carbon monoxide in your home.
It’s important to keep your CO alarms up-to-date and to make sure that they’re functioning properly—so that you can make sure that you would receive adequate warning of a buildup of carbon monoxide in your home.
All too often, people neglect this—and the consequences can truly be catastrophic.
According to the CPSC (the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission), it’s recommended that every home should have a carbon monoxide alarm.
This is crucially important for the safety and well-being of your family.
Should Everyone Install A Carbon Monoxide Alarm?
Whether you live in a house, an apartment, a duplex, or a condominium—every dwelling/home should contain a carbon monoxide alarm, to ensure that those inside will be protected from the poisonous gases, fumes, and emissions created by burning fossil fuels.
Now you know how important it is to install a high-quality carbon monoxide alarm in your home.
If you need some assistance with this crucial aspect of home safety, don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know.
We can either check your existing alarm or install a new one for you to make sure that you’re protected.