You can’t see it. You can’t smell it. You can’t touch it. Carbon monoxide (CO) is called a ‘silent killer’ because the highly poisonous gas is odorless and colorless. It mixes with air and if breathed in can cause serious health issues or even death.
The most common cause of a carbon monoxide outbreak in homes is an older furnace or appliance that is not burning its fuel properly.
Be aware of the common sources of carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide is produced when fuel (like natural gas) is not fully burned. This happens as a result of an equipment malfunction or can be due to a lack of proper ventilation. Common sources of carbon monoxide include:
- cracked or damaged furnace heat exchanger
- an idling vehicle in an attached garage
- chimneys or fuel-burning appliances that need to be cleaned or repaired
- garages or shops with improperly vented equipment
- barbecuing indoors or in a space with poor ventilation (like a garage or shed)
Recognize the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
Exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal. Properly installed carbon monoxide detectors can alert you of possible exposure, but be on the lookout for the following symptoms:
- muscle weakness
- shortness of breath
- blurred vision
- loss of consciousness
If you experience any of these symptoms, get to fresh air right away, seek medical attention, and then contact your preferred home services company to locate the cause.
Stop the silent killer
You can help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning through the following:
- Have a professional inspect your gas furnace and other fuel-burning appliances annually.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector near all sleeping areas or on each level of your home.
- Properly maintain your carbon monoxide detectors.
- Never use outdoor fuel-burning equipment (generators, patio heaters, barbecues) inside your home or garage.
If your alarm sounds and someone is experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, move outside immediately and call 911. If the alarm sounds, but no one is experiencing any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, shut off your gas appliances, ventilate your home, and contact your home services company.
If you suspect carbon monoxide in your home or would like us to review possible safety concerns, give us a call or schedule service online. Our qualified service technicians will determine its source and can provide you with possible solutions.