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You Must Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning!

May 7, 2012

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning is the NUMBER ONE cause of accidental poisoning deaths in North America. Know the facts!

Every year hundreds of people die from accidental exposure to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. In fact, carbon monoxide from motor-vehicle exhausts is the main cause of poisoning deaths in the United States.

Carbon monoxide is a gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. It is a toxic gas that replaces the oxygen in our blood, causing the body to suffocate from the inside. Most people have no idea they are exposed to a high level of carbon monoxide until it’s too late.

CO is produced by gas or oil furnaces, space and water heaters, clothes dryers, ovens, wood stoves and other household appliances that run on fossil fuels such as wood, gas, oil or coal.

Why is Carbon Monoxide so deadly?

Because carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless and toxic gas, poisoning can happen to anyone, any time, anywhere. Everyone is at risk but pregnant women, young children, handicapped individuals, senior citizens and people with heart and lung problems are at greater risk.

Again, most people have no idea they are exposed to a high level of CO until it is too late. Symptoms of mild acute poisoning include headaches, vertigo and flu-like effects. Tiredness, nausea or vomiting and shortness of breath are early warning signs of CO poisoning. Your skin may turn pink or red in response to rising blood pressure. Larger exposures can lead to significant toxicity of the central nervous system, heart and death. Do not ignore any of these symptoms and call 9-1-1.

Many people surviving high exposure to carbon monoxide are left with devastating after-effects such as learning disabilities, memory and skills loss, and coronary and respiratory problems.

Protect yourself!

Install at least one UL listed carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home, especially outside sleeping areas.

Have a qualified service technician inspect and clean your fuel-burning appliances, furnace, vent pipe and chimney flues once a year. Bird’s nests, twigs and old mortar in chimneys can block proper ventilation and lead to build-up of carbon monoxide gas in your home.

NEVER run engines in a garage, even if the garage door is open.

Regularly check the exhaust and emission system in your vehicles.

What to do if the CO detector alarm goes off?

If the Carbon Monoxide alarm sounds, everyone must leave your home immediately. Once outside, call 9-1-1. Do NOT go back inside until the cause for the CO alarm has been found and corrected. Leave it up to the Fire Services to find the source of the carbon monoxide.

If you have a security system, ask your security provider to add carbon monoixe monitoring to your service.

If you don’t have a security system or don’t have it monitored, call me for a free, no-obligation consultation. You will be glad you did!

Ulli Robson, Security Specialist, (780) 288-2986.

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