Invisible Killer: Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Every winter we hear more about it, but you can't see it, it's invisible. You can't smell it either, it's odorless. You can't even taste it, but it can and does kill many each year. What is "it"? Carbon Monoxide Gas. What can you do to protect your household from this insidious killer? Prevention and knowledge are your best defense, let's take a look.
These basic steps are key elements in preventing carbon monoxide poisoning.
* Install carbon monoxide detectors on each floor of your home, especially near the sleeping areas. Don't forget the basement! (Generally the furnace is in the basement and carbon monoxide leaks can start there.)
* Check and/or replace the batteries of your carbon monoxide detectors to be sure they are in working order. (And while you're at it, do the smoke detectors too!)
* Clear snow and ice away from the vent pipes on your home. These would include the venting for your furnace, stove and fireplace. It is imperative that nothing is blocking the exhaust air flow from exiting your home. Sadly, vent pipes blocked by snow have been known to cause fatal carbon monoxide events.
* Do not leave a vehicle running in an attached garage, even if you have the garage door open. Toxic fumes can still blow into your home.
* Have your heating appliances serviced annually to be sure no leaks are present and all is in working order. This list includes furnaces, water heaters, gas stoves, wood and coal burners, among others.
* Never use a kerosene heater in your home! Never use any of the following inside your home or attached garage (even if the door is open) or near a window: kerosene heater, generator, grills (gas or charcoal), camp stoves, etc. Anything that can generate toxic carbon monoxide gas should not be used near your living area, even if the power is out.
Knowledge of what? Knowledge of the basic signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and what to do if they occur.
* Basic signs of carbon monoxide poisoning according to the CDC are: headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, chest pain, confusion and vomiting. Symptoms can be described as "flu-like" and can also make one feel light headed.
* If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, get the victims outside into fresh air immediately, then call 911 for medical help. Stay out of the house until the gas leak has been resolved and the home is safe.
* If your carbon monoxide detector goes off, leave your home immediately. Get medical help if necessary. Call 911. Have the leak fixed before resuming activity in your home.
Additional information can also be found on the Consumers Energy website and the CDC website.
Here at Devette & Ford Insurance Agency, we want you to have a warm, safe and happy new year. Stay safe folks!
As always, I'm still yet...