Though rare, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is still a serious problem this time of year. Over 400 Americans are killed by unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning annually; in many of these cases, people don’t know the facts that could have saved their lives.Your friends at MTB Mechanical hope you’ll be informed and aware this year about the risks of CO. Here are six important facts to know about the season’s quietest killer.
1. Carbon monoxide is created in a variety of ways.
It’s not just your furnace you need to think about; Cars, trucks, gas-powered space heaters, lanterns, ventless fireplaces, grills, and even gas ranges can produce CO.
2. The gas is odorless, colorless, and invisible.
Without a professional detection device, it can be very difficult to detect carbon monoxide gas. Smelling gas is completely different than being exposed to CO. Anyone is at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning including the elderly, the fit, and especially children.
3. Symptoms can be hard to detect.
If you’re experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, you may confuse the symptoms with something else. The most common complaints include dizziness, weakness, nausea, chest pain, and disorientation. The most dangerous time for carbon monoxide poisoning is at night while you’re asleep.
4. Carbon monoxide detectors work.
Every floor of every home should have a carbon monoxide detector. They’re inexpensive and battery powered, and since carbon monoxide gas is heavy, detectors should be placed near the ground. Never place them close to the potential source of CO as this could confuse the detection device.
5. Regular heating system maintenance helps.
Experts agree, having your heating system, furnace, or boiler inspected every single year by an experienced professional can catch problems before they become dangerous. Regular maintenance is a critical first step in preventing CO poisoning.
6. Issues occur when homeowners use heating workarounds.
A vast majority of carbon monoxide deaths in the U.S. occur when homeowners try to avoid using their heating systems or don’t have one altogether. Portable heaters, gas stoves used as heating devices, and gas fireplaces can put your family at risk. A reliable home heating system is more affordable and safer than you think.
MTB Mechanical hopes you have a safe, comfortable winter season! If it’s been a while since you’ve had your heating system inspected, give our team of experienced technicians a call.
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