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Can Your Home Cause Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

December 9, 2021 | Blog

If you suspect you have carbon monoxide poisoning, go to the hospital immediately. Alert your local fire department and gas company of the leak.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, scentless gas that could cause significant harm if inhaled in large amounts. Because this gas is difficult to detect without proper equipment, many homeowners are uncertain if it’s already invaded their homes.

At Arnold Electric Services, we understand how frightening the threat of carbon monoxide can be. That’s why we’ve compiled this helpful guide to answer any questions you may have about carbon monoxide and your home.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

The toxic gas known as carbon monoxide is created when the process of combustion in gas isn’t fully completed. When inhaled, this gas enters the bloodstream and can prevent your body from absorbing oxygen. This could lead to serious harm or even death in severe cases. 

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 20,000 people visit the emergency room each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Infants, the elderly, and people with respiratory problems are far more sensitive to this gas.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Some people may mistake carbon monoxide for the common flu for how many symptoms the two share. When symptoms fade upon leaving the CO-infected area, then it’s carbon monoxide poisoning. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), common symptoms of CO poisoning include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Impaired coordination
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue

In high concentrations, carbon monoxide may cause you to pass out and may be fatal. If you suspect you have carbon monoxide poisoning, go to the emergency room immediately. You should also contact your local fire department or gas company and alert them to the leak. 

Where Could Carbon Monoxide Come From in Your Home?

Carbon monoxide can be produced from any appliance in your home that burns natural gas. This includes but isn’t limited to:

  • Stoves and ranges
  • Grills 
  • Fireplaces 
  • Portable generators
  • Furnaces 
  • Dryers
  • Water heaters
  • Vehicles 

Any appliance that burns wood, charcoal, or fuel has a chance of producing carbon monoxide. An attached garage may also pose a risk if certain appliances are used inside. 

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

This doesn’t mean you have to stop using gas-burning appliances altogether. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be easily prevented and detected in a number of ways.

Avoid Using Certain Applianced Indoors

For grills and vehicles, it’s best to not operate them in enclosed spaces such as an attached garage. Using them at least 20 feet away from your home can also help prevent carbon monoxide from entering your home. Leaving the garage door open won’t prevent the risk of CO poisoning.

Any gasoline-powered device used inside or too close to your home may be dangerous. This includes:

  • Cars
  • Boats
  • Motorcycles
  • Grills

Routine Maintenance

Regular tune-ups on appliances such as furnaces and water heaters could help reduce the risk of them producing carbon monoxide. It’s best to have a technician inspect these appliances at least twice a year. 

Even a small issue may lead to a big one. Maintenance is a quick and easy way to ensure the safety of your home and the longevity of your appliances.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide alarm installation is one of the best things you can do to protect your home from this dangerous gas. You should install at least one CO detector on every level of your home, ideally in bedrooms. This is where many people become ill with CO poisoning, inhaling the gas while asleep.

CO detectors function similarly to smoke detectors. When the gas is detected, the machine will emit a loud sound to alert everyone it’s time to evacuate. Their batteries should be changed every six months to ensure this device can do its job.  It’s also best to have them professionally installed so that it’s done correctly. 

Trust in the Pros

At Arnold Electrical Services, we’re dedicated to delivering safe and reliable services. Having devices professionally installed will not only ensure they’re installed properly, but it will ensure it’s done safely. Contact us today for all your electrical needs!

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