Carbon monoxide is a silent killer– it seeps into homes with no smell or warning and can kill a person in minutes. Appliances and other household devices that generate combustion fumes are the main producers of carbon monoxide. When used properly, these appliances have no negative effect on your daily life. If used incorrectly, however, hazardous levels of carbon monoxide (CO) can result. Commit to carbon monoxide safety by engaging in regular furnace tune ups and heating maintenance plans, and by practicing the following Do’s and Don’ts from Precision Air and Heating:
Know the symptoms of CO poisoning: low to moderate levels cause headaches, dizziness, confusion, nausea, fainting, and shortness of breath– if these levels persist for long, they can result in death
Know how to respond to CO poisoning symptoms: get fresh air, go to an emergency room, and be prepared to answer questions for your doctor about what kind of appliances you use, how long you’ve been experiencing symptoms, and whether others in the household feel similar
Have your appliances inspected by a professional regularly
Choose appliances that vent fumes outside
Ensure new appliances are properly installed and maintained according to manufacturer’s directions
Avoid gas or kerosene space heaters; if you must use them, follow the warning labels strictly and open a window for ventilation
Invest in a carbon monoxide detector
Use gas ovens to heat your home, even for short durations
Use charcoal grills indoors, even in your fireplace
Fall asleep in an unventilated room with a kerosene or gas space heater
Use gasoline-powered devices in enclosed spaces (i.e., weed trimmers, snow blowers, chain saws, generators)
Idle your car in the garage, even with the garage door open; fumes build up quickly and can seep into your home
Most importantly, never ignore the symptoms of CO poisoning, especially if you’re not alone in feeling them: the effects take you over quickly, and you could lose consciousness or die if you do nothing.
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