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What You Should Know About Carbon Monoxide

While most homeowners know about the dangers of fire and smoke inhalation, fewer know about another hazard that could threaten their health. Carbon monoxide is known as the “silent killer.” Here’s what you need to know to keep your family safe:

What Is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide, often written as “CO”, is a byproduct of incomplete combustion by carbon-containing materials. Incomplete combustion can occur in any fuel burning device. For example, furnaces, space heaters, stoves, hot water heaters, and vehicles all have to potential to create CO. CO is a colourless, tasteless, and odorless compound, making it virtually undetectable by humans.

Why Is Carbon Monoxide Dangerous?

Exposure to CO can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion, and even loss of consciousness. While these symptoms imitate the flu, those who suffer from CO poisoning will not experience an increase in temperature. Unresolved leaks can lead to brain damage and even death.

How Do Carbon Monoxide Alarms Work?

CO alarms work by monitoring airborne concentration levels of CO over time. When harmful levels are present, an alarm is sounded. Because CO can be harmful both in low concentrations over time and high bursts in short periods of time, CO alarms are designed to track both instances.

Where Should Carbon Monoxide Alarms be Installed?

Just as fire and smoke alarms need to be placed specifically, so do CO alarms. These detectors must be located near all sleeping areas of the home and not the source of the potential leak. This is so that sleeping occupants will be able to hear the alarm clearly if it goes off.

While smoke and fire can be seen and smelled easily, carbon monoxide can exist for a dangerous amount of time before it is noticed. If you do not have a carbon monoxide alarm installed in your home, don’t wait any longer. Call us today to get the protection you deserve.

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