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.”
Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric has seen a rise in requests for CO alarms and detection systems. “People are becoming more aware of issues related to CO poisoning,” said John Ward, president of Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric. “In most cases, CO build up is caused by household appliances that aren’t properly ventilated.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that carbon monoxide poisoning contributed to 16,000 deaths in the U.S., with 16 percent being classified as unintentional. Further, CO is estimated to cause more than 15,000 visits to hospitals. Early symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, nausea and fatigue that are often mistaken for the flu. Prolonged exposure can lead to brain damage and even death.
According to the National Fire Protection Association 93% of homes have smoke alarms, yet the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that only 15% have carbon monoxide alarms.
“While alarms are a step in the right direction,” says Ward, “they are just that – alarms. The new ‘detection systems’ on the market are a higher level of protection because they are actually installed inside a furnace.” In cases where particulates exceed safety levels, the detector will sound an alarm “and shut down your furnace,” he said. Applewood offers homeowners the CO Authority detection system.
Here’s how the CO Authority detection system works:
- 2 sampling tubes are installed in the ductwork connected to the furnace.
- Heated air from the furnace circulates through the duct system and passes through the detector.
- If carbon monoxide is present, the detector shuts down the furnace.
- A second carbon monoxide sensor built into the unit detects the presence of CO in the furnace room.
- A thorough detection system is your best protection against CO poisoning. Here are other steps you can take to protect your family:
- Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced every year.
- Don’t use portable flameless chemical heaters (catalytic) indoors.
- 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.
Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric has served the Denver and Boulder metro areas for more than 37 years and is proud to have been named the 2009 winner of the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Marketplace Trust in the Large Business category. They have achieved the Nexstar Network Select Service Designation and were named 2007 City of Golden Rotary Ethics in Business Award winner.