Carbon monoxide (CO) is difficult to detect and perhaps the most dangerous gas that can enter your home. It’s colourless, odourless and otherwise imperceptible without a carbon monoxide detector. It can cause a negative health impact even if the concentration level is low, especially on those with chronic illnesses, the elderly, young children and pregnant women. High-level exposure can cause permanent damage or even death in a very short period of time.
Here are the hidden dangers of carbon monoxide in your home and how to protect you and your family.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Exposure
Carbon monoxide poisoning is caused from overexposure to CO gas, your condition is called. Every year about 8,000 to 15,000 patients are admitted to the hospital for treatment of non-fire related carbon monoxide poisoning. Sadly, an estimated 500 people die each year from accidental exposure to high levels of CO gas.
A high concentration of carbon monoxide can cause death, low concentrations of carbon monoxide are also dangerous because they can cause short-term symptoms and even lead to long-term health problems you may not associate with carbon monoxide exposure.
Short-term symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to that of the flu, including:
- Chest pain
- Sore throat
Higher concentrations of carbon monoxide can lead to these symptoms:
- Impaired judgment and coordination
- Memory loss
- Rapid heart rate
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sensitivity to light, sound and odours
- Loss of consciousness leading to death
Exposed to carbon monoxide on a long-term basis in lower concentration levels can have varied symptoms in type and severity. Symptoms include:
- Pains and cramps
- Digestive, vision or cardiac problems
- Sensations of pins and needles
- Emotional instability
- Difficulty sleeping
- Hearing loss
Sources of Carbon Monoxide
Now you might be wondering why are appliances that can potentially leak this harmful gas kept inside the home? The fact is all combustion produces carbon monoxide and are mandatory appliances that you need to cook food, heat our homes and perform other tasks. They include:
- Gas furnaces, boilers and water heaters
- Gas ovens and stoves
- Gas and kerosene space heaters
- Camping stoves
- Cars, boats and other engines
Under normal circumstances, combustion appliances are either safely vented to the exterior or used outside, to begin with so carbon monoxide can dissipate harmlessly into the air. Appliances that produce carbon monoxide and does not have proper ventilation should never be used indoors. Cars that are parked idling in a closed garage or a generator used inside can produce lethal levels of carbon monoxide within 10 minutes.
Protect Your Family: Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
You can ensure combustion appliances vent outside safely and only use unvented appliances outdoors, but you never know if a leak might develop. That’s why you should install carbon monoxide detectors. These devices sound an alarm when they sense an above-normal concentration of carbon monoxide.
It is ideal to install one CO detector on every floor of your home, or at least one right outside each sleeping area and one on the same floor as your gas furnace and water heater. The ideal place to fix a carbon monoxide detector is on or near the ceiling since carbon monoxide tends to rise with the hot air that contains it. Follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions and make note of the suggested replacement date.
If you need carbon monoxide detectors installed or old devices replaced, contact your nearby Inlightech electrician here at 0481 179 667 and make your appointment. Our professionals will help you select a suitable alarm and ensure ideal electrical installation locations for your family’s safety in your home
Our licensed electricians at Inlightech are ready to help with any electrical services and Electrical Installation Services that you may request.
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