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The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

You probably think you're doing everything possible to keep your family and your home safe. However, there's a dangerous threat lurking within your home. That danger is carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide (CO) can’t be seen, heard or smelled, but it's real and hazardous. Carbon monoxide causes the death of more than 400 Americans each year and more than 20,000 emergency room visits.

How Does Carbon Monoxide Get in the Home?

Carbon monoxide is a gas left over when fuel isn't completely burned away. It accumulates in enclosed areas, such as your home. Possible sources include fuel-burning appliances, space heaters and fireplaces, among others.

To protect your family from CO poisoning, install carbon monoxide detectors within 10 feet of all bedrooms and within 10 feet of any appliances that are gas-burning. Replace batteries every year, and have a certified inspector check all gas-burning appliances and heaters at least once each year.

Identifying CO Poisoning

Many symptoms are similar to those related to other illnesses. People who are intoxicated or asleep may succumb before they experience or display any symptoms. The most common symptoms include:

  • Confusion and irritability
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness and fainting
  • Headaches
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unconsciousness or drowsiness

Who's at Risk?

Everyone is at risk, and both people and pets alike. Small children, unborn babies, the elderly and people with pre-existing heart or lung problems have a higher risk. Carbon monoxide poisoning may cause long-term problems, including vision problems, memory loss and difficulty with coordination or balance.

If You Suspect CO Poisoning…

Immediate action is imperative! If possible, move the person to fresh air; outside is usually the best option. Otherwise, open doors and windows. Call your local emergency center.

For more on preventing carbon monoxide poisoning and installing CO detectors, contact the experts at Griffith Energy Services. We're here to help!

Image Provided by Shutterstock.com

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