As the weather cools across the country, people are looking for warmth where they can find it—furnaces, fireplaces, heaters, and other appliances. These devices do a great job of keeping us cozy but can come with inherent risks when in use. Many make use of minimal amounts of Carbon Monoxide (CO), which is fine when controlled, but when improperly used or maintained, can pose a threat to your health.

Let’s learn more about CO and how to keep your property and your loved ones in it safe from CO poisoning.


What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, and highly poisonous gas; carbon monoxide occurs when fuels burn incompletely. It is lighter than air. Despite its release from natural causes such as forest fires and volcanic eruptions, it also comes from the fumes produced by furnaces, kerosene heaters, heated vehicles, stoves, lanterns, gas ranges, portable generators, or by burning charcoal and wood.


What Are The Risks and Dangers Of CO?

The sources of CO listed here can accumulate in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. Inhaling carbon monoxide can poison both humans and animals, and it can even lead to death if exposed to large amounts of it.

Sadly, more than 400 people die of carbon monoxide poisoning every year in the United States. More than 20,000 patients go to the emergency room, and 4,000 people stay in the hospital for an extended period of time.

Whenever levels of carbon monoxide reach 150 parts per million, people become disoriented and collapse. Other signs of poisoning include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Upset stomach
  • Chest pain
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion


What Can You Do To Minimize The Threat of CO Poisoning

The Centre for Disease Control has many suggestions on their site of dos and don’ts when it comes to CO safety:

  • Install battery-operated or battery backup CO detectors near every sleeping area in your home, and inspect them regularly to ensure they are functioning correctly.
  • Have your furnace inspected every year.
  • If the power goes out, NEVER use a generator inside your home or garage, even if doors and windows are open, and only use outdoors more than 20 feet away from your home.
  • It would be best not to burn anything in an unvented stove or fireplace.
  • Gas ovens should not heat your home.
  • You should seek medical attention right away if you feel dizzy, light-headed, or nauseated and suspect CO poisoning.


How Smart Squad Security Can Help Keep You Safe

At Smart Squad Security, we care about your safety. Our CO detection technology will alert you to any exposure so you can immediately vacate your home in the case of an occurrence. We proudly provide home and business owners in Kansas City, MO, with a range of security solutions for their properties and the people in them. Call 913-529-0029 today to get started.