According to a 2012 report by the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments answer to an average of 72,000 carbon monoxide calls each year. Carbon Monoxide, or CO, is a colorless, odorless gas by-product of burnt fuel. It’s commonly associated with wood stoves, car engines, and other fire combustion sources such as gas or oil furnaces.
Why is Carbon Monoxide so important?
Not to be overly dramatic, but understanding the causes and ways to prevent excessive CO exposure is a matter of life and death. CO is among the leading ways of accidental poisoning deaths in the US*, and conditions of CO poisoning can be mistakenly labeled as the flu, viral infections and prolonged fatigue, among many others. This makes CO poisoning the invisible killer that needs to be taken seriously by every Houston homeowner. Severe poisoning takes place from breathing large concentrations of CO, but poisoning may also happen gradually over many months or years. Some indicators may include nausea, vomiting, flu-like symptoms, dizziness, and fatigue.
How to protect your family from carbon monoxide?
- Buy a CO detector for each room of your home. You can contact Church Services to purchase one today.
- Batteries should be checked on a consistent basis for existing CO detectors. It's also recommended to replace the detector every 3-5 years.
- If you experience or have experienced a few of the symptoms cited above, ask your doctor to test for carbon monoxide poisoning and get a second opinion if necessary.
- Schedule routine gas furnace maintenance in autumn to check that no carbon monoxide leaks are present at the beginning of heating season.
- If your furnace is approaching the end of its useful life, you may want to consider a proactive home furnace replacement service and upgrade to a newer heating unit.
*emedicinehealth.com. Prevention information for Carbon Monoxide poisoning may be inaccurate or incomplete; none of these methods guarantee the prevention of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.