Carbon Monoxide Safety In Your Home
Fall is here, which means that we’ll soon be using our heating systems every day here in New Jersey. With that increased use comes a greater risk for problems with carbon monoxide – a dangerous gas produced by any appliance in your home that burns fuel.
With everyone home more than usual this fall and winter, it’s more important than ever to know all you can about the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, and what to do if you experience them. But first, let’s cover some carbon monoxide basics.
About Carbon Monoxide
- What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless gas produced by burning heating oil, gasoline, coal, wood, charcoal, kerosene, propane, or natural gas. A buildup of CO in your home can cause illness, unconsciousness, or, in extreme cases, death.
- What causes a buildup of CO?
A buildup of CO typically occurs due to improper ventilation or equipment breakdown. Some causes of CO buildup include:
- Operating unvented appliances for too long
- A damaged or improperly maintained heating system
- Backdrafts caused by pressure imbalances near the heating appliance
- A blocked flue or vent
- What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?
Symptoms of CO poisoning vary depending on the amount of exposure to the gas:
- Mild Cases – Flu-like headaches, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness.
- Moderate Cases – Severe headaches, drowsiness, confusion, and disorientation
- Extreme Cases – Unconsciousness, convulsions, heart failure, and in rare cases death.
- What should I do if I experience symptoms of CO poisoning?
If you are symptomatic,
- Get fresh air immediately. Open windows and doors, turn off fuel-burning appliances, and leave the house.
- Call your fire department or 911 and report your symptoms to your doctor
- Service all your fuel-burning appliances before turning them back on!
- What should you do if the CO alarm sounds?
If the alarm signal sounds,
- Immediately move outside to fresh air
- Call your fire department or 911
- DO NOT reenter the premises until responders have given you permission
- If the source of the CO is determined to be a malfunctioning appliance, DO NOT use that appliance until a professional services the equipment
- How can I avoid CO problems in my home?
- Get an annual tune-up for your furnace or boiler every year
- Educate yourself and your family about the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning and what to do if they experience them.
- Install CO detectors in your home – especially near bedrooms.
Stay safe this fall and beyond, with expert heating service from Dixon Energy! Contact us today to schedule your heating tune-up in NJ!