Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. Every year in the US, around 420 people die and over 100,000 people visit the emergency department due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide, or CO, is generated by furnaces, lanterns, gas ranges, portable generators, burning firewood or charcoal, and from gas vehicles in operation while inside the garage.
Exposure to carbon monoxide is completely preventable if you take some simple steps. While CO is generated from a wide variety of sources, they all involve gas vapor and the air being trapped inside.
Symptoms of CO Poisoning
CO poisoning is insidious because carbon monoxide has no odor nor can it be seen. Plus, the symptoms may be mistaken for something else such as the beginning of the flu or a bad cold. The symptoms of initial CO poisoning include the following.
- Headaches, Nausea, and Dizziness
- Shortness of Breath and Fatigue
If exposure to CO is at high levels, the symptoms will include confusion, vomiting, loss of coordination, and finally loss of consciousness and death.
If you see such symptoms, the first step should be to go outside or open a window and let in the fresh air. That will disperse the CO gas which allows for a full recovery. If you feel better outside than standing inside, you will need to check your home for the presence of CO.
Get Medical Attention Immediately
If you suspect that you or your family has suffered from CO poisoning, go to the emergency room. While most cases of CO poisoning will fade over time, there are instances where permanent damage may occur unless treatment is rendered. This means getting a blood test to show if CO is present.
But the best way to deal with CO poisoning is to prevent such situations from occurring in the first place. This means taking the right action to reduce the chances that this event will occur.
Steps to Take to Prevent CO Poisoning
There are some simple steps you can take to prevent CO poisoning. Most of what follows requires no purchase and simple planning to keep carbon monoxide from building up.
- Install CO Alarms to Warn of Carbon Monoxide Buildup
- Regularly Inspect Home Heating Systems
- Operate Portable Generators and Charcoal Grills Outside the Home
- Do Not “Warm Up” a Vehicle’s Engine Inside the Garage
- Open the Fireplace Damper Before Starting a Fire
- Keep the Fireplace Damper Open Until the Ashes Cool
Having CO alarms are important for gas leaks that otherwise may go undetected. Place them near gas appliances and your gas heating system. But also place them in other parts of your home just in case the gas builds up in another location.
You can prevent CO poisoning inside your home by taking these simple steps. Always play it safe when it comes to gas-operated appliances and your vehicles. Learn to identify the symptoms of CO poisoning and know what to do if you suspect that you or your family has been exposed to carbon monoxide.
Contact Brickley Environmental Today
With numerous dangers facing your home or business, calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental is a good place to start. We offer our knowledge and experience along with the tools to detect and remove infestations of various types. The services provided by Brickley Environmental include the following.
- Asbestos Abatement
- Mold Remediation
- Lead-Based Paint Removal
- Hazardous Waste Removal
If you are facing any of these issues, call Brickley Environmental today. Our friendly, courteous staff will take your call and answer your questions, so you can make the best-informed decision about what to do next. At Brickley Environmental, we are here to help you.