Watch this video on carbon monoxide from the CBS Early Show:
WHAT IS CARBON MONOXIDE?
Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can make you sick and even kill you.Â The only way to truly check and adjust your gas appliances is with a combustion analyzer.Â In fact, it is the number one cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the US, killing over 500 people each year.Over 15,000 are hospitalized annually and many others suffer flu-like symptoms and believe that they have the flu, when in fact they are being slowly poisoned by carbon monoxide.
Where Does Carbon Monoxide Come From?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced when fuels do not burn properly. Carbon monoxide in the home can come from:
- Gas Furnace
- Gas Water Heater
- Gas Stove
- Gas Dryer
- Kerosene Heater
- Vehicle Exhaust
Carbon Monoxide – you can’t see it, smell it, or taste it, but it can kill you.
What are the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide?
Many people suffer from flu-like symptoms and believe that they have the flu, when in fact, they are being slowly poisoned by carbon monoxide. Some symptoms of carbon monoxide posioning include:
- Dull headache
- Shortness of breath
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
WHAT LEVEL OF CARBON MONOXIDE IS CONSIDERED DANGEROUS?
The EPA says that we should not be exposed to even 9 parts per million of carbon monoxide. Fire fighters are required to wear respirators if the level of carbon monoxide is 30 parts per million. Unfortunately, most carbon monoxide detectors sold in retail stores only alarm when carbon monoxide reaches around 70 parts per million and stays at that level for 4 hours continuously.
Most carbon monoxide detectors only have a life of about 4 years. The test button on the device is to test the battery only – not the carbon monoxide sensing device.
HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOUR FAMILY FROM CARBON MONOXIDE POSIONING?
Have all appliances and heating equipment installed by a licensed professional.
Install low-level carbon monoxide detectors and place them close to sleeping areas and on every level of your home.
Never run a portable generator under a window or indoors, including basements and garages.
Never burn charcoal inside a home, garage, fireplace, or closed-in space.
Never leave a car running in your garage, even with the garage door open.
Have your chimney inspected by a professional once a year.
Have your furnace inspected annually by a professional who uses a combustion analyzer, before you use it.
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