Unlike fire and burglary, carbon monoxide can be an invisible, almost undetectable threat to your family and home. If you live in a home with gas logs, hot tub, or other gas-enabled appliances or have an attached garage — you need to be aware of this threat. Carbon monoxide is invisible and odorless and causes symptoms — fatigue, nausea, headache, dizziness — that may be confused with flu or other symptoms.
Every year, more than 200 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning and another 5,000 need hospital treatment. The very young and old, pregnant women, unborn babies, and people with heart and respiratory problems are especially vulnerable.
Listed below are some helpful tips to safeguard your family and home from this harmful gas.
- Any fuel-burning appliance can emit carbon monoxide gas, so be sure such appliances are vented directly to the outside and keep fresh air circulating in your home.
- Have your heating system checked for carbon monoxide emissions before the heating season begins.
- Check your kitchen range, fireplaces and water heater for carbon monoxide emissions periodically.
- If you have a wood-burning fireplace, have the chimney cleaned and inspected every year, crack a window or door slightly to allow proper airflow, and keep the damper open until the fire is completely out.
- Never run your car engine for more than a few moments in a garage or other enclosed area, even if the door is open.