Carbon monoxide within the home is responsible for many deaths every year.
This deadly and undetectable gas is extremely dangerous when breathed in and can kills in minutes.
Those that aren’t killed by it can suffer a range of symptoms from short term one to permanent brain and major organ damage amongst other things.
The elderly, those with heart or lung problems, young children, animals, pregnant mothers and unborn babies are particularly susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning, as are those that already have certain levels of CO in the blood, such as smokers or those exposed to carbon monoxide as an occupational hazard.
There are many items and appliances within the home that can be the source of carbon monoxide pollution, probably far more than many people realise.
The most common appliances are fuel burning heaters, such as furnaces, water heaters, butane or gas heaters, stoves and gas ovens, central heating systems, and refrigerators.
Using these appliances in poorly vented or enclosed spaces can increase the chances of carbon monoxide pollution, as can blocked vents and chimney flues.
In order to decrease the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning within the home, it is important to stick to some basic but very important rules:
- Always have your appliances fitted by a certified and experienced professional;
- Have your appliances checked regularly, and have your vents and chimney checked and cleaned on a regular basis;
- Always adhere to manufacturers instructions when using these appliances;
- Never use fuel-burning appliances in enclosed and un-vented spaces;
- Never use a gas stove or oven to warm your home;
- Make sure that you have a high standard CO detector fitted outside sleeping areas, and main living areas. This should be placed high up or on the ceiling as CO rises rapidly;
- Be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning so that you can take appropriate action should the need arise.
You should also note that your car exhaust can emit carbon monoxide fumes, and you should never leave the engine running idle in an enclosed space such as the garage.
This can not only pollute the air in the garage, but the carbon monoxide fumes can also seep quickly in to the home putting everyone in the house at risk as well.
Taking the necessary steps to make your home as carbon monoxide-proof as possible could protect you and your family from serious illness, permanent damage and death, and these simple steps can go a long way towards preventing pollution of the air within your home.
Remember, carbon monoxide cannot be seen, tasted or smelt, so your only defence against this potential killer is prevention.