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Carbon Monoxide Dangers And How To Prevent Them

Carbon monoxide is a scary word for anyone because so often are we told of the dangers of this poisonous substance. While it is something we know we need to avoid, many families don’t know what it is, or how to prevent it from entering their homes. If you’re wondering how harmful carbon monoxide is and how to prevent it from harming you and your family, here is a basic guide on the dangers of carbon monoxide and how to prevent exposure.

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that has no color or odor and is largely undetected in many homes. The incomplete burning of coal, oil, natural gas or wood causes this gas. Many engines can leave carbon monoxide such as cars, lawn mowers and pressure washers.

Unfortunately, an average of 170 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year. While the causes vary they often include malfunctioning furnaces and heaters as well as fireplaces, generators and coal burning ovens.


Symptoms Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

One of the biggest dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning is the fact that it is undetected inside the home. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning often look like flu symptoms and include fatigue dizziness, nausea and shortness of breath. If left untreated, a high level of carbon monoxide poisoning includes symptoms such as confusion, vomiting, loss of consciousness and death.

How Much Carbon Monoxide Exposure Is Too Much?

To be clear, you should avoid exposure at all costs. Some people will not experience any harmful symptoms after a little bit of prolonged exposure. More sensitive people such as children, the elderly and those with heart conditions can experience symptoms with very little exposure.

How To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure

As with many harmful substances, the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to prevent exposure in the first place. Here are some basic ways you can prevent the dangers of carbon monoxide exposure:

  • Make sure appliances are operated according the manufacturer’s instructions. A professional should install appliances like fireplaces, stoves and other equipment.
  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned regularly. A professional company like Bulldog Chimney Sweeps can ensure your fireplace and chimney are operating efficiently and safely. They will look for cracks, moisture and other factors that could cause your fireplace to not burn hot enough. When your wood burning stove or fireplace isn’t burning hot enough, it can leave behind harmful carbon monoxide gas.
  • Always make sure portable generators and other engine-powered equipment (weed-eaters, lawnmowers) are operated outside of homes or enclosed areas. These tools emit harmful gases and using them in open spaces can prevent exposure to harmful carbon monoxide.

Additional Ways To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure:

  • Never burn coal inside a home
  • Never leave a car running inside a garage
  • Never heat your home with gas stove ranges, ovens or clothes dryers
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home

Avoiding the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning is all about prevention. As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to maintain your home and have your chimney and fireplace inspected regularly. By maintaining the appliances in your home and making sure engine-powered tools are used in open spaces and according to the manufacturer’s instructions you can rest assured you and your family will not be exposed to carbon monoxide gas.