Carbon Monoxide DetectorCarbon monoxide is a gas with a toxicity level that can cause permanent damage, in some cases death. It is a silent killer because people don't realize what is happening. Education on the preventions, warnings and symptoms of this toxic gas is of up most importance. How else can one stop something, they don't know anything about? Many carbon monoxide related deaths are due to carelessness, or the lack of knowledge of the dangers and warning signs.

What to do for protection:

  • Install CO detectors in the home. There should be at least one on every floor. These should have battery back up, especially since more fires and candles are burning in a power outage.
  • Have annual inspections of all appliances, and keep up proper maintenance.
  • Only use a gas oven to cook food.
  • Avoid setting anything on fire inside a closed in spot unless there is proper ventilation. This includes a large amount of candles or a grill.
  • Be sure that the flu of a fireplace is open, and that chimneys are free of debris.
  • Avoid running a car in the garage. Have the garage door open upon starting an engine.
  • In the event of an accident or car running off the road, make sure the tail pipe is not blocked. There are incidents to where families have died because a bank or snow pile was blocking the tail pipe.
  • If burning candles inside a car, be sure to crack a window.
  • Never let children, or anyone else ride in the back of trucks. Yes, this has lead to poisoning.
  • Never ride in a car that has part of the floor board rusted out, or a car that doesn't have proper exhaust system. This includes a catalytic converter.
  • Avoid using machinery and tools that are fuel operated areas that are not ventilated. This would include sanders, grinders, lawn mowers and weed eaters.
  • Avoid using paint thinners in areas that are not ventilated.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • The first symptoms of poisoning are almost flulike. With continued exposure, the symptoms escalate to headache, vomiting and nausea, dizziness and confusion. Until finally passing out, stop breathing and death.

What to do in an emergency:

  • It's possible that they just simply never wake up. When there are light symptoms of poisoning: turn off the supply if possible, gather everyone in the building, and proceed to exit for fresh air. Go to the emergency room for treatment, and have a blood test for exposure. If the symptoms are more severe try to exit the building ASAP! Before you pass out and call 911 or get assistance.

Carbon monoxide is not visible, it is tasteless and does not produce an odor. This is why it is a silent killer. This is why learning the symptoms are so important. The detectors are so essential because many times the carbon monoxide poisoning will occur at night while people are sleeping. It's possible that they just simply never wake up. It is sad to lose any life, but this can wipe out an entire family.