According to a 2012 report by the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments respond to an average of 72,000 carbon monoxide calls each year. Carbon Monoxide, or CO, is a colorless, odorless gas by-product of burnt fuel. It’s commonly associated with wood stoves, car engines, and other fire combustion sources such as gas or oil furnaces.
Why is CO awareness so important?
Carbon monoxide can be deadly; it's that simple. CO is among the leading causes of accidental poisoning deaths in the US*, and conditions of CO poisoning have been known to be misdiagnosed as the flu, viral infections and prolonged fatigue, among many others. This makes CO poisoning an often hidden enemy that can be fatal over several years, or within just a few short hours. Serious poisoning takes place from inhaling large concentrations of CO, but poisoning may also happen gradually over many months or years. Some signs may include nausea, vomiting, flu-like symptoms, dizziness, and fatigue.
How to protect your family from carbon monoxide?
- If you don’t have a CO detector in your home, get one right away. You can call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to purchase one today.
- Existing CO detectors should be checked regularly (at least every 90 days). It's also wise to replace the detector every 3-5 years.
- If you experience or have experienced some of the symptoms stated above, ask your doctor to test for carbon monoxide poisoning and get a second opinion if necessary.
- Schedule routine gas furnace maintenance in autumn to check that no CO leaks are present at the start of heating season.
- If your furnace is approaching the end of its lifespan, consider a proactive home furnace replacement service and upgrade to a newer heating unit.
*emedicinehealth.com. Prevention information for Carbon Monoxide poisoning may be inaccurate or incomplete; none of these methods guarantee the prevention of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.