Carbon monoxide. It’s known as the silent killer and for good reason. According to the CDC, this odorless, colorless gas is responsible for over 400 deaths and more than 20,000 visits to the emergency room in the United States each year.
Perhaps even more startling? Most victims are unaware of the presence of CO in their home, car, or business until it’s too late. While it cannot be seen, smelled, or heard, it’s important to know that carbon monoxide poisoning can be stopped.
Know What CO Is
Carbon monoxide, or CO, is an industrial hazard produced from the incomplete burning of natural gas, kerosene, oil, coal, and propane. It is found in the fumes of cars, trucks, stoves, lanterns, furnaces, grills, fireplaces, boats and other small engines.
Odorless, tasteless and colorless; CO gas builds up in enclosed spaces, poisoning people and animals who breathe it in.
Know Where Carbon Monoxide Comes From
Did you know that many common household items are responsible for producing this poisonous gas? Appliances you rely on to cook your food. The furnace you depend on to heat your home. The generator you count on to keep your home secure in the event of a power outage. The car that safely transports you and your loved ones.
Each of these items has the potential to emit CO gas and within 15 minutes, cause serious harm or death.
CO poisoning doesn’t just happen at home, it can also occur in the workplace. OSHA reports that harmful levels of CO can be present in breweries, warehouses, boiler rooms, steel mills and around docks. Business owners and employees are encouraged to review this OSHA Fact Sheet for more information.
How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
While you can’t avoid using items that can potentially expose you to carbon monoxide poisoning, there are plenty of steps you can take to minimize your risk of exposure to CO.
– Install CO detectors throughout your home and test them once a month to ensure they are working properly.
– Replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors every six months.
– Swap out your CO detectors for new ones every five years.
– Never allow your car engine to run in an enclosed space.
– Keep generators outside of your home and at least 20 feet away from windows and doors.
– Have your furnace inspected and serviced annually by a qualified technician.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen to anyone, at any time. If you don’t already monitor the CO in your home or business, now is the time to be proactive and keep your family, employees, and customers safe from harm. Contact us today to add a 24/7 monitored CO detector to your security system package.