Carbon Monoxide- The Silent Killer

September 18, 2013

Carbon-monoxide-dangerWhy is it called "The Silent Killer?" * People do not realize it is in the air. * It is a toxic gas that has no color, no taste and no smell. * It does not cause people to cough and it does not produce burning eyes. The body is tricked by carbon monoxide because it's particles are so similar to oxygen. However the difference is, it replaces the oxygen in the blood resulting in, the lack of oxygen without you knowing it's happening. Early exposure to carbon monoxide can appear to be flu-like symptoms: headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, shortness of breath and fast heart rate. Exposure can be fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC),almost 500 unintentional deaths and more than 1,700 suicides are related to carbon monoxide poisoning each year in the United States. California law requires new and existing homes have carbon monoxide alarms. (California SB 183, 2010) Sources of carbon monoxide include: water heater, furnace, gas kitchen range or cook top, gas clothes dryer, fireplace, space heater, portable generator, charcoal grill, wood-burning stove or an idling vehicle in an attached garage. It's produced when fossil fuels like natural gas, propane, kerosene, gasoline, coal, wood and charcoal burn incompletely due to insufficient oxygen. Ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning: * Have appliances installed by someone who is trained or certified. * Clean chimneys annually before the winter season and keep them clear of snow and ice. * Always make sure your chimney flue is open before starting a fire. * Never use a bar-b-que or charcoal grill indoors. * Garage doors should always be open before starting a car, motorcycle or gas powered lawn mower and generator. If carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected, open windows and doors immediately to circulate fresh air. Vacate the house (including pets) and call 9-1-1. Carbon monoxide can be detected in the home by installing carbon monoxide alarms. For added safety it is recommended that a UL-listed carbon monoxide detector be installed outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Source: