According to a 2012 report by the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments respond to an average of 72,000 carbon monoxide incidents each year. Carbon Monoxide, or CO, is a colorless, odorless gas by-product of burnt fuel. It’s usually linked to wood stoves, car engines, and other fire combustion sources such as gas or oil furnaces.
Why should you be constantly aware of CO?
The short answer is that CO awareness is a matter of life and death. CO is among the leading ways of accidental poisoning deaths in the US*, and conditions of CO poisoning can be mistakenly labeled as the flu, viral infections and chronic fatigue, among many others. This makes CO poisoning an often hidden enemy that can be fatal over several years, or within just a few short hours. Severe poisoning takes place from inhaling large concentrations of CO, but poisoning has also been reported to occur over many months or years. Some symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, flu-like symptoms, dizziness, and fatigue.
So what can you do?
- No home should be without a reliable, tested CO detector. You can phone Coastal Service Experts to purchase one today.
- Batteries should be checked on a consistent basis for existing CO detectors. It's also a good idea to replace the detector every 3-5 years.
- If you experience or have experienced some of the symptoms stated above, ask your doctor to test for carbon monoxide poisoning and get a second opinion if necessary.
- Schedule routine gas furnace maintenance each year to ascertain no carbon monoxide leaks are present at the start of heating season.
- If your furnace is approaching the end of its lifespan, you may want to consider a proactive home furnace replacement service and upgrade to a new heating unit.
*emedicinehealth.com. Prevention information for Carbon Monoxide poisoning may be inaccurate or incomplete; none of these methods guarantee the prevention of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.