AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
” Carbon Monoxide Poisoning “
* 7 Ways to help prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (CO)
1)- Have carbon monoxide detector installed on each level of your home
2)- Have your home’s heating and venting systems inspected annually
3)- Have your wood-burning and gas fireplace serviced yearly
4)- Do not use charcoal grills inside your house or fireplace
5)- Never operate a gasoline-powered engine in an unvented garages or basement.
6)- Never operate a car, mower or generator, running in the garage, even with the garage door open
7)- Never use a gas range or cook stove for heating inside your home, cabin, tent or camper
* Carbon Monoxide poisoning is often referred to as “CO” poisoning . . . the “Silent Killer”
This poisonous gas is a by-product of the burning of any type of fossil fuel, or by-products such as gasoline, natural gas, fuel oils, kerosene, coal, wood, or charcoal.
When you breathe in Carbon Monoxide, it quickly replaces the oxygen in your bloodstream that your body requires. Without this needed oxygen, the cells throughout our body die, and your internal organs will begin to shut down. Thus, this is what makes CO gas so dangerous because that you can’t see, smell it, or taste it.
Carbon Monoxide detectors should be installed on each floor of the home!
Carbon monoxide produces whenever we use our automobiles, fireplaces, charcoal grills, and gas appliances. Usually, these appliances will cause no problems if you correctly vent them.
All of the flue vents in your home, including your dryer vent, need to be serviced regularly.
CO can become very deadly with just a minimal amount of exposure. It is important to be aware of the many signs of CO poisoning, and knowing what to do may mean life or death for you or your loved ones.
Carbon Monoxide trouble often occurs when cars, trucks, or other engines are left running in enclosed spaces, such as garages. Therefore idling a car in an open garage could be very dangerous, as fumes leak back up into the living space of the home.
Sealing and insulating homes may trap poisonous gases inside the house. Often this is due to misusing charcoal grills, generators and heating appliances in unvented areas of the home.
You may have heard of restaurants closing because of customers becoming sick because of CO poisoning. Often this occurs in buildings burning gas stoves and ovens consistently.
* What are some of the symptoms of CO Poisoning?
As carbon monoxide gases build up in the bloodstream and rob us of oxygen, symptoms may vary but include dizziness, headaches, upset stomach and vomiting. Other warning signs maybe a feeling of disorientation, confusion, drowsiness, rapid breathing, racing of the heart, clamminess of the skin, chest pains, blurred vision and even possibly seizures.
Therefore, if you breathe in too much CO it could make you pass out or even kill you. Because breathing in rather low levels of carbon monoxide gas over a prolonged period may go somewhat undetected as a feeling of being little sick or coming down with the flu. Those “flu-like” symptoms’ could be causing prolong heart problems or possibly brain damage.
Three Signs of a possible chimney flue blockages that may be causing spillage of very deadly Carbon Monoxide gases into your home.
1-White chalking called (efflorescence) on the outside of the chimney bricks
2- Watermarks on the walls in the basement flue vents
3-Broken flue tiles on the top of the chimney
Have you heard someone say ‘I smell Gas”?
If you think your smelling the rotten egg sulfur smell of natural gas what you are smelling is a chemical called Mercaptan and it gives off a very distinctive odor. Most people describe as the odor as “rotten eggs “or hydrogen sulfide. So, if you smell rotten eggs – leave the house quickly! Do not use a light switch, telephone or cell phone from within the house; get everyone outside as quickly as you can!
Finally, everyone is at a potential risk for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.
As a result, each year thousands of individuals are dangerously exposed to CO poisoning, requiring emergency room care. Many are hospitalized or even die in their own home.
. . . . . In conclusion, we can’t See, Smell, or Taste Carbon Monoxide, but we can all learn how to identify it, treat it and prevent it!
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Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.