Carbon Monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of any carbon containing material, which includes natural gas, gasoline, propane, wood or coal. Carbon Monoxide is dangerous because it replaces oxygen in the blood therefore interferes with the transport of needed oxygen to cells in your body.
Many of the incidents that happen from Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be prevented. Here are some safety tips you can follow to keep you and your family safe.
- Know the risks of carbon monoxide: Anything that burns fuel such as a furnace, fireplace, generator, a gas appliance or car are producing a toxic (carbon monoxide)
- Keep your vents clear: During and after a storm, make sure nothing is in the way of the outside stack or vent for your dryer, stove, furnace and fireplace. Also during the winter take care of the snow to prevent snow buildup.
- Do not run engines in a closed area: Proper ventilation is crucial. Do NOT start a car, start a grill or stove, or run a generator in a closed area such as a basement or garage.
- Schedule regular maintenance: Make sure you schedule experts to install your fuel-burning devices and set up the appropriate venting for each device. Also once a year, have a qualified professional inspect your fuel-burning devices to make sure they continue to operate properly.
- Keep fireplaces clean and well vented: If you have a stove or wood-burning fireplace, make sure you keep it clean and that everything is working properly.
- Install enough CO alarms: You should post them on every level of your house hold as well as garage. There are some CO detectors that interconnect across your house, so that when one detects an issue the rest of the alarms go off. When you hear the CO alarms go off you should immediately move to fresh air and call 911.
- Maintain your CO alarms regularly: These CO alarms do need regular maintenance.