Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible gas formed as a byproduct of combustion. Things like cars, trucks, small engines, gas ranges, furnaces, grills, or gas/wood fireplaces all put out varying amounts of carbon monoxide. Unlike natural gas or propane, which has an added odorant to make it noticeable, there’s no immediate sign that carbon monoxide is around you. (There’s no way to add an odorant to it because it’s produced from burning other fuels.) Propane is actually visible in high concentrations, but carbon monoxide is invisible regardless of how concentrated it is.
There are regular stories in the news about a person or family who was killed by carbon monoxide poisoning. People who are poisoned by carbon monoxide usually have no idea that it was even present in their environment. Early on, they exhibit flulike symptoms including headache, weakness, upset stomach, dizziness, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. After breathing in enough of the gas, they will eventually pass out (or even die if exposed to high enough concentrations).
How to Keep Safe from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
The most important thing you can do to keep safe is make sure that any appliance in your home that burns gas (furnace, water heater, gas stove, gas fireplace/logs, etc.) is operating properly, according to the specifications it had when it left the factory. Many people have carbon monoxide detectors in the home, which have to encounter a certain level of carbon monoxide for a period of time before it will go off. We are big proponents of carbon monoxide monitors, which immediately give an alert when the concentration of carbon monoxide in the home has increased.
Homeowners often decide to install carbon monoxide monitors in multiple locations throughout the house. We now have devices that detect both smoke and carbon monoxide, which can communicate wirelessly with one another thanks to relatively recent improvements in wireless technology. If a certain level of carbon monoxide is detected in the basement, for instance, all of the detectors throughout the house will sound an alarm.
It’s incredibly important that homeowners take precautions against carbon monoxide exposure. If it sneaks up on someone who’s caught unprepared, they will have absolutely no warning. To install multiple potentially lifesaving smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, get a hold of Boulden Brothers today by giving us a call or contact us online.