The first thing to know about Carbon Monoxide (CO) is that you won’t be able to detect it without an alarm or monitor, that is. The poisonous gas is clear, odorless, and powerful, which makes it one of the most deadly household contaminant around.
If carbon monoxide is so common and so dangerous, why is it that over 400 people die from its toxins a year according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC)? Well, for starters, because carbon monoxide is basically invisible it’s not thought of as often as you may think. Most people are concerned about making sure their smoke alarms and security systems are working properly, and may forget about the carbon monoxide monitors. We see smoke and intruders, therefore they feel like more realistic threats. However, knowing how serious carbon monoxide can be is a great jumping off point to learning how to protect you and your family.
Get Your Home Ready
There are many appliances and everyday housewares that greatly contribute to carbon monoxide production, and proper care is important in keeping carbon monoxide at reasonable levels. To maintain your home, follow these tips from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- To reduce carbon monoxide emissions, make sure your home heating systems are installed by professionals and are tested to work correctly. Any discrepancy could create carbon monoxide leaks, causing you and your family harm. Additionally, always have these systems cleaned and serviced at least once a year, and don’t forget to have the vents and chimneys checked and cleaned, as well.
- Never use portable generators inside the home, regardless if you have the windows open or not. These devices produce an abundance of carbon monoxide, and the breeze from an open window isn’t enough to filter out the production of poisonous gas.
- Don’t burn charcoal in the home for any reason. Whether it be from a grill or stove, charcoal produces a large amount of carbon monoxide and is one of the worst offenders for buildup. To be even more cautious, it’s advised to refrain from using charcoal-burning grills inside garages as well. If you’re going to use charcoal for cooking or other recreational activities, be sure to do it outside and far away from the home.
- Although sometimes it’s tempting in the cold winter months, never use your gas-range stove to heat your home. This is like playing with fire, except scarier because you can’t see just how much deadly gas is being emitted.
- If you have fireplace, make sure to always open the chute before burning the wood and keep it open until the fire is completely out. If the chute is closed, an abundance of smoke will fill your home, but there will also be a much greater risk for carbon monoxide to fill the space. Keeping your chimney open reduces the buildup of poisonous gases.
- One of the best ways to protect your family from this dangerous gas is installing a carbon monoxide detector. This device, which works like a smoke alarm, will sound as soon as carbon monoxide levels reach a toxic amount, helping you get your family out of the home before it’s too late. If you purchase a digital detector, these can show you the levels of carbon monoxide and how they rise and fall, helping you keep a closer eye on the production of this dangerous gas in your home. Additionally, if you have a security system, you can link your carbon monoxide monitor to your home system so that if an emergency occurs, you and the proper authorities will be alerted immediately.
Following these guidelines is a smart way to keep your family safe, while maintaining a healthy home environment. To learn more, contact your home security provider.