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How to Protect Your Family from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Heaters and cars, ovens and grills…there are so many useful devices these days which add comfort and convenience to our lives. If not used and maintained properly, however, they can cause serious physical harm. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas which is produced whenever a fossil fuel is burned—and it’s more common in your home than you might think. Fortunately, carbon monoxide poisoning can be prevented by following these simple steps:

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector. This is the easiest prevention tool and perhaps the most important. These battery operated alarms will warn you as soon as they detect the slightest hint of carbon monoxide. We recommend purchasing a low-level CO detector online. They are more expensive and not UL listed, but they are superior to retail store options which do not detect low levels efficiently.
  • Never use charcoal grills indoors. Burning coal gives off high amounts of carbon monoxide—easily dispersed when you barbeque outside, but deadly when contained in your home.
  • Have your furnace, water heater, and any other fuel-burning appliances serviced regularly. A trained technician will know how to check for any problems or possible leaks and can repair them quickly and efficiently.
  • Always make sure you use your gas appliances correctly, so you can avoid possible carbon monoxide hazards.
  • Don’t block air vents—especially the ones in your kitchen. Proper ventilation is extremely important as it can help prevent buildup of carbon monoxide throughout your home.

It’s also important to recognize the symptoms of carbon monoxide, which include fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, nausea, and dizziness, and can progress to confusion and loss of coordination and consciousness. It’s important to receive prompt medical attention if you suspect you may have been exposed to carbon monoxide for any prolonged amount of time.