How to Protect your Home from Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide, sometimes known as the silent killer, is a serious threat. According to the CDC, in 2015 alone, 393 deaths from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning occurred. CO is a poisonous gas that can kill without much warning. It’s odorless, colorless which makes it hard to detect. CO is produced from incomplete burning of a material containing carbon. With such a dangerous gas, it’s important to take measures to protect you and your family. Here are some tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your home.
- Have your heating system maintenance
Have an annual maintenance check-up for your heating and water systems. Anything that burns gas, oil, or coal should have an annual inspection by a professional.
- Install a CO Detector
A carbon monoxide detector will notify you if there is CO in your home. Have enough CO detectors to cover your home – place them on each level of your home and in sleeping areas. If you have one already, check the batteries and change them if necessary.
- Recognize the signs of CO poisoning
If your CO alarm goes off, or you experience symptoms of CO poisoning, leave your home immediately and call 911. Symptoms can include feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous. Do not go back into the house until it’s clear.
- Avoid running your car inside the garage
Having your car engine on in an enclosed space can be dangerous. Because carbon monoxide does not have an escape, it can fill up your garage and become deadly. If you are warming your car in the winter, have the garage door open or bring your car outside before turning on the engine.
- Do no run a generator inside
Similar to having your car run inside, if you have a generator, do not use it in your garage. The CO can become dangerous. If you plan on using a generator, use it outdoors only. If there is a disaster, it’s a good idea to have extra batteries on hand as well. Check out our tips for a power outage.
- Maintain fireplace vents
Make sure that your fireplace has good ventilation. Have your chimney and other vents cleaned before you use your fireplace. The summer is a great time to do so. It’s best to get it done before the cold weather hits!
- Never grill indoors
Grilling in the summer is a popular activity. If you are using your grill, do so outside where there is ventilation. The gas or charcoal from the grill can produce CO gas. Don’t risk CO gas by grilling indoors!
Don’t let carbon monoxide poisoning happen to your family. By being careful and taking preventative measures, you can keep your home safe from this deadly gas. Being on top of your home’s safety will make a difference in the long run. Talk to your insurance agent about homeowners insurance and other ways to protect your home. They can help you keep your home safe from preventable dangers.