Earlier this month, roughly 80 residents of a condominium complex in Calgary were forced to evacuate due to dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide. While this happened in Canada, the U.S. Fire Administration
wrote that over 150 Americans die from accidental poisoning from the tasteless, odorless and colorless gas. The National Conference of State Legislatures
noted that in 2012, twenty five states had statutes requiring CO detectors in some residential buildings. The proper use of these devices will increase your home security and protect you and your loved ones from CO poisoning.
Understanding the gas
Carbon monoxide is a deadly killer, since it's virtually undetectable by sight, smell or taste, and its symptoms are equally subtle. The Consumer Product Safety Commission
stated that victims with low levels of CO poisoning can exhibit symptoms similar to those of a flu, such as shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, dizziness and nausea. The CPSC also noted that those with higher levels of CO poisoning may exhibit worse symptoms, such as loss of consciousness, vomiting, loss of muscular coordination, mental confusing and worse
The CPSC pointed out that CO can come from a number of sources, including but not limited to water heaters, room heaters, furnaces, ranges and various engine-powered equipment.
The Commission stated that CO levels are measured in parts per million. The symptoms that individuals may display depend on his or her health. It's noted that most people won't experience any symptoms from CO levels between 1 to 70 ppm but individuals with heart problems may have chest pain. CO levels above 70 ppm will result in healthier individuals experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, nausea and headaches. Levels above 150 to 200 that are sustained will run the risk of disorientation, unconsciousness and even death.
Using a carbon monoxide detector
Carbon monoxide detectors are essential in protecting your home from the deadly gas. Strongly consider installing one if you haven't already. The devices monitor CO levels within the home and set off an alarm if the levels run too high. The CPSC stated that CO alarms should never be ignored.
A CO detector is an additional safety feature that you can have inside your home. The Federal Emergency Management Agency
stated that CO alarms should be tested at least once a month. It is also noted that CO sensors have a limited life, so it's essential to replace the device as necessary. With the installation of a detector, you can have a peace of mind knowing that you and your family are safer in your home.