CO Alarms: Proper Maintenance is a Matter of Life and Death
It's fairly easy to see if your house is on fire, what with the extreme heat and the flames shooting out from all corners. However, there is a silent, odorless, invisible danger that is more difficult to detect and is just as, if not more, deadly to you and your family. That threat is carbon monoxide (CO).
If you live in a home with a fuel-burning appliance such as a furnace, fireplace, water heater, etc., your family could be in danger. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that is poisonous and often fatal when inhaled. When humans (and animals) are exposed to it, symptoms include severe headaches, fatigue and weakness, dizziness, nausea, and confusion. More severe exposure leads to a racing heart, convulsions, brain damage, heart and lung failure, unconsciousness, and eventually death.
Now that you are sufficiently scared, take a deep breath. There are simple ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your home.
- Buy and install carbon monoxide alarms on each level of your home. They cost between $40 and $70 and should be placed inside each bedroom or in the hallways outside of any sleeping areas. Position them at least 15 feet away from fuel burning appliances and away from windows or doors. Alarms should be tested weekly (push the test/reset button) to make sure that they are functioning properly. Look for an alarm with a digital display which allows you to see if any Carbon Monoxide is present in your home and respond accordingly before it reaches a dangerous level.
- Have your heating system, vents, chimney, and flue inspected annually by a qualified technician. The experts at Mojave Air Conditioning can ensure that your systems are working properly, efficiently, and safely.
- Never leave your car idling a closed garage.
- Regularly check all vents and chimneys for rust, staining, and any improper connections.
- Do not use a gas oven or stove to heat your home.
- Always operate a grill outside of the home in an open space.
If you suspect that you may have a carbon monoxide leak in your home... get out. Move all of your family members (both two legged and four) into fresh air and call 911 from the street or a neighbor's home. If you suspect that anyone is already suffering the effects of CO poisoning, they should be given medical attention immediately.
An annual inspection of your HVAC system by a qualified professional like Mojave Air Conditioning and the purchase of CO alarms for your home is an investment in your family's health and safety. Remember that when it comes to your family, it's always better to be safe than sorry.