Tasteless, colorless, odorless, carbon monoxide (CO) is produced by almost every fuel-burning appliance, including furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, grills and gas space heaters. When something goes wrong with the equipment or the venting, CO becomes one of America’s most deadly household hazards.
Here are some things every homeowner should know about CO and how to guard against it causing a tragedy. in your home.
1) Headache, dizziness, nausea, weakness, sleepiness, and disorientation are all symptoms of CO poisoning, though a victim may not experience every one. Unfortunately, these same symptoms are associated with flu, food poisoning, and other afflictions, leading to many misdiagnoses. A cherry red face is a possible sign of CO poisoning.
2) For healthy adults, CO becomes toxic when it reaches a level higher than 35 ppm (parts per million) with continuous exposure over an 8-hour period. This is the maximum exposure tolerated by OSHA.
3) If anyone in your home is experiencing signs of CO poisoning symptoms, vacate the home immediately and notify your local fire or police department. Don’t just open doors and windows because that makes it hard for authorities to determine whether there is a CO problem when they inspect the home.
4) The best place to install CO detectors is outside of bedrooms where family members sleep. The greatest danger from CO occurs when people are asleep and unable to detect any of the symptoms. Installing a detector near a furnace, water heater, or other CO-emitting appliance will likely result in many false alarms.
5) Broken or blocked vents and flues are probably the most common cause of CO buildup. If you see any holes or disconnections or rust stains indicating corrosion, call us immediately. Be sure to put a guard on top of rooftop vents to prevent birds’ nests or other debris from falling into the chimney and blocking the escape of harmful gases.