Preventing Carbon Monoxide in a Property
By Sandy Flores
Special to Excelsior
It is very common that when we go looking for the purchase, sale, or rental of a house it does not consider the existence of carbon monoxide.
What is it and why is it important to know and consider your presence?
Carbon monoxide is a gas that you can not see or smell, but so lethal that can be fatal when breathed at high levels. This gas is produced when fuels like gas, petrol, kerosene, coal, oil or wood are burned. Fireplaces, water heaters, furnaces, fuel-burning appliances such as stoves and stove burners or kerosene heaters may also produce carbon monoxide if they are not working well. The cars stopped with the engine running this gas fired also. If this gas is breathed at high levels can cause death by poisoning in minutes.
Every year a large number of people lose their lives due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in their own homes. You can prevent this poison and protect your family. Many of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to flu, as well as decomposing food poisoning and other diseases
At moderate levels this gas can cause headaches, dizziness, mental confusion, nausea and even to fainting. However, they can also cause death if these levels although moderated breathe for long. At low levels this gas can cause shortness of breath, nausea and mild dizziness that may also affect health after time.
If you suspect that you or any family members have symptoms of poisoning by this gas immediately go to a place where you can breathe fresh air. Open doors and windows and turn off appliances that use fuel and leave home. Go to an emergency room and tell the doctor suspected a possible carbon monoxide poisoning. This can be detected with a blood test done immediately after having been exposed to this gas.
To our relief there are carbon monoxide detectors, but bear in mind that the use of a detector is a way of caution and not prevention. If you plan to buy a carbon monoxide detector, not based solely on cost. Investigate all the features of the first detector to buy. This must be certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). This product certification for environmental and public health UL is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Consumers have access to verify certification of these products by visiting the website www.ULStandards.com
Here are some recommendations to take into consideration and will help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
At the beginning of winter inspected by a qualified technician your appliances that use fuel. All ducts should be well connected, in good condition and must not be locked.
Choose appliances that remove the combustion to the outside of your house. The devices must be correctly installed and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Following the manufacturer’s instructions if using an unvented kerosene or gas that has no ventilation system follow the directions on the device carefully. Use the proper fuel and leave open the doors to the rest of your house. Keep a slightly open to let in air and fuel is right window.