Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odorless and colorless gas. One of the biggest carbon monoxide dangers is that it is impossible to detect the gas in the air without a CO detector. Symptoms of a CO poisoning are not always obvious but they can be lethal.
Typical Symptoms of CO Poisoning
Typical symptoms include nausea, sleepiness, dizziness, headache, weakness, shortness of breath, a feeling of tightness in the chest, redness in the skin and difficulties in seeing. If you experience symptoms and especially if more than one person experiences the same symptoms, it is important to leave the house. If possible, leave the doors and the windows open. CO poisoning can also cause unconsciousness, so it is essential that you leave the premises first and call for emergency services once you are outside in fresh air.
How To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Dangers
Make sure all your combustible appliances are in good working condition and comply with current safety regulations. Only use those appliances indoors that are meant for indoor use. Appliances that are designed for the outdoors should never be used indoors. Do not bring an outdoor barbecue inside or into a closed space. Do not use gas ovens to heat up your house.
Unfortunately it has been found that CO gases pass easily through drywall, which is a commonly used material in walls and ceilings. This means that carbon monoxide can spread through residential buildings from one apartment to another. Even if your own appliances are safe, the risk of CO poisoning exists if someone in the same building is using an outdoor grill indoors, for instance.
CO poisoning can be prevented by installing a CO alarm in your home. CO alarms are not the same as smoke alarms, and smoke alarms are not able to detect carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide alarms can be placed anywhere in a room, including near the floor, unlike smoke alarms that have to be placed near the ceiling. Make sure the alarm functions, test it regularly and replace batteries when needed.
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