TJ and his staff want to help keep you and your family safe. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns about carbon monoxide safety. Carbon monoxide (CO) is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CO poisoning causes more than 500 deaths and 20,000 emergency department visits in the U.S. annually. The use of carbon monoxide alarms could potentially prevent many of these deaths. Learn how to prevent CO poisoning in your family and how to spot the symptoms before tragedy occurs. The only safe way to know if there is CO in your home is to arm your family with the appropriate CO alarm.

What is carbon monoxide (CO)?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless and tasteless poison gas that is produced by fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, ovens, clothes dryers, water heaters, space heaters, fireplaces, charcoal or gas grills, and wood burning stoves. If an appliance malfunctions or is improperly installed, CO can back up into the home, reaching dangerous levels and quickly cause injury or death. Vehicles and there combustion engines, like a generator running in an enclosed space, can also cause CO poisoning.

What are the symptoms?

Initial symptoms are similar to the flu with no fever and can include dizziness, severe headache, nausea, sleepiness, fatigue / weakness and disorientation. CO is often called the “silent killer” because it is odorless, tasteless and undetectable. In fact its symptoms are often misdiagnosed and many people don’t know they are suffering from CO poisoning.

What you can do…

  • Install at least one battery powered CO alarm or AC powered unit with battery backup on each level of your home and near sleeping areas.
  • Have TJ’s licensed professionals inspect the heating systems and other fuel-burning appliances in your home annually.
  • Install fuel-burning appliances properly and operate them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have all fireplaces cleaned and inspected annually and keep chimneys clear of animal nests, leaves and residue.
  • Do not block or seal shut the exhaust flues or ducts used by water heaters, ranges and clothes dryers.
  • Do not leave your car running in an attached garage or carport.
  • Be careful not to use ovens or stoves to heat your home.
  • Do not use charcoal or gas grills inside or operate outdoors near a window where CO fumes could seep in.
  • Test all carbon monoxide alarms in your home quarterly. Do they use the most accurate sensing technology?
  • Do they need new batteries?
  • Replace CO alarms every five years in order to benefit from the latest technology upgrades.
  • Do not to use generators and grills indoors during a power outage.
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