Carbon monoxide is often referred to as the silent killer. Any building that burns natural gas, oil, coal, charcoal, and even propane has the potential to produce it. Colourless and odourless, it can travel virtually undetected through your home. Due to its invisible nature, it’s no wonder that over 50 Canadians die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning. Keeping informed and prepared is the key to keeping your family safe.
CO Poisoning Symptoms
Just like the presence of the gas itself, symptoms of CO poisoning can be tricky to identify. This is because milder cases can often be mistaken for the flu. Symptoms can include headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Increased exposure to carbon monoxide can result in confusion, vomiting, loss of muscle control, and ultimately, death. The amount of carbon monoxide and the duration of exposure both affect what symptoms and severity a person will experience.
Reduce Chances of Exposure
Recognizing the symptoms of CO poisoning can be a challenge. If you suspect your symptoms may be due to a CO leak, leave your house immediately and call 911. There are a number of steps you can take to protect your home from ever producing carbon monoxide in the first place.
- Ensure to have a professional do regular inspections on your heating system.
- Never use portable generators inside your home, even with the doors and windows open.
- Do not use your oven to heat your home.
- Barbeques or charcoal grills should be used exclusively outdoors.
Detect CO Right Away
While following the above steps will greatly reduce the chances of exposure to carbon monoxide, there is no way to completely eliminate the risk. Unfortunately, any heating system in your home contains the potential to produce CO. Because of this, it is imperative that your home is equipped with a carbon monoxide detector. This is the only way to alert you of a leak quickly and efficiently so that you can get your family to safety and call 911. Many of these devices run off of batteries, but the safest way to ensure they keep running is to have a professional electrician hardwire them into your home; using batteries as a backup.
Don’t let your family fall victim to a carbon monoxide leak. Follow the tips above to reduce the chances of exposure, recognize the symptoms, and detect a leak as soon as possible. If your home doesn’t have a CO detector or you’d like to have your current one professionally hardwired, contact our Calgary team at 4-Star Electric today!