Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips: Ensure Your Home is Safe from the “Silent Killer”
December 2, 2013
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. This odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas is known as the “Silent Killer.” And, Colorado is no stranger to the effects of this lethal gas, where annually several deaths are reported. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that carbon monoxide poisoning claims nearly 500 lives, and causes more than 15,000 visits to hospital emergency departments annually.
It is estimated 94 percent of homes have fire alarms, but only 13 percent have carbon monoxide detectors. Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric has seen a rise in requests for CO alarms and detection systems in the last couple of years. “People are becoming more aware of the issues related to CO poisoning,” said John Ward, president of Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric. “In most cases, CO build up is caused from household appliances that are not properly ventilated.”
Carbon monoxide is a natural byproduct of appliances and tools that burn fuels. When inhaled, the effects can be lethal. Some of the most common symptoms are:
- Flu-like symptoms, fatigue
- Abdominal pain
Applewood offers these tips for protecting yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Have annual inspections of furnaces, fireplaces and flues
- Ensure appliances, furnaces and tools are well vented
- Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters (catalytic) indoors or confined areas
- If you smell an odor from your gas refrigerator’s cooling unit have an expert service it. The odor could mean you have a defect emitting CO gas.
- When purchasing gas equipment, buy only equipment carrying the seal of a national testing agency, such as the American Gas Association or Underwriters’ Laboratories.
- Install a CO detector with audible alarm in your home
- Check or replace batteries each spring and fall.
Call Applewood today at (303) 232-6611 or schedule online at www.ApplewoodFixIt.com.