Carbon monoxide poisoning is a dangerous condition that we should be prepared to prevent all year long. However, prevention is especially important during the winter months. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States show a total of 2,244 unintentional deaths occurring over the course of 5 years due to carbon monoxide poisoning, 36% of which happened during the winter months.
What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Carbon monoxide, a highly dangerous gas, can affect your body’s ability to transport oxygen. The gas is actually produced by many commonplace items such as cars, wood stoves, and gas appliances. High concentrations of this gas in a non-ventilated space could cause serious damage; however, because of its colorless and odorless nature, a person could be poisoned without realizing it. Symptoms may include weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, or even loss of consciousness. Carbon monoxide poisoning can share similar symptoms to the flu, which can unfortunately lead to confusion and tragedy.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is entirely preventable. Take some of these precautions to keep you and your family safe this winter season:
- Install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector in your home and check the battery twice a year
- Have all fuel-burning appliances, fireplaces, and woodstoves checked by a professional once a year
- Use fuel-burning appliances, such as space heaters or barbeques, in well-ventilated areas
- Never leave a car running in a closed garage
- Don’t heat your house with a gas oven
- Ensure that your fireplace and vents are clean and clear with no obstructions
- Leave your home immediately and call 911 if your carbon monoxide detector alarm sounds
We hope these tips help protect you and your loved ones from any carbon monoxide poisoning scares. As a final recommendation, we encourage you to book a home inspection to ensure that your family won’t be exposed to any hazards. When it comes to home inspections, you won’t find more qualified professionals than the ones here at Sherlock Home Inspectors. Contact us through our website or by giving us a call at (712) 274-9617.