Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill. We perform inspections throughout the Suffolk County, NY and Nassau County, NY areas, and we always implore our customers to install carbon monoxide detectors in their homes.
ABOUT CARBON MONOXIDE:
CO is found in the fumes of cars, trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, gas ranges, fireplaces, and furnaces. In certain quantities, it is fatal to humans and animals. People have no idea they are inhaling it, because it is odorless.
SYMPTOMS OF CO POISONING:
When inhaled in smaller quantities, the symptoms can easily be confused with other medical issues but the include: headache, weakness, upset stomach, dizziness, vomiting confusion, and chest pain. These are symptoms typical of a flu. When inhaled in larger amounts, humans and animal can lose consciousness and prove fatal. If the person is sleeping or intoxicated when they inhale CO, they can die without experiencing any symptoms.
WHO IS AT RISK?
Basically, anyone is at risk for CO poisoning, even more so potentially if you don’t choose the right home (for multiple reasons). The most vulnerable to CO poisoning, however, tend to be the young and elderly, people with heart disease, asthma, anemia, and other respiratory illnesses.
More than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fire. More than 20,000 people will visit the emergency room and more than 4,000 hospitalized each year due to CO poisoning.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY:
It’s very simple to protect your family!
1) The first step is to install a CO detector in your home. It is easily plugged into any outlet, and they are reasonably priced for what they can do – protect your life in case of a CO leak in your home. Place the detector outside a bedroom. Pro tip: check to make sure your home inspector has this on his checklist.Some detectors are able to tell you the levels of CO in addition to sounding the alarm. The CDC recommends replacing your detectors every 5 years.
2) Annual maintenance and service by a qualified technician of your heating, water heater, and any gas or coal burning appliance is important. Any odor from a gas refrigerator needs to be checked. Chimneys should also be checked annually.
3) Portable flameless chemical heaters should not be used indoors.
4) Only purchase gas equipment that carries the seal of a national testing agency like the Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL).
5) All gas appliances should be vented properly.
6) Never patch a vent pipe as it can cause a CO build up.
7) Never use a gas range or oven for heating your home because this can cause CO build up. Never use a portable gas camp indoors, either.
8) Charcoal of any kind give off CO. They should not be used indoors.
9) Never use a generator inside your home, basement or garage unless it’s 20 feet from any proper venting source.
10) Never leave a running vehicle in the garage. Regularly maintain and service your vehicles.