Every year as the fall months bleed into winter, the furnace kicks on to keep our homes warm. One thing that many people take for granted is that the furnace vents properly, carrying potentially harmful carbon monoxide fumes to the exterior of the home. This assumption is common because of the nature of carbon monoxide, but is not taken as seriously as a home fire. This is a mistake that could kill you and your family and you should be prepared for possible furnace ventilation failure.
Carbon Monoxide Gas
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless gas that is emitted when combustion occurs. Carbon monoxide is produced by water heaters, furnaces, and fireplaces. With all of these appliances existing in almost every home in the United States, it is important that the carbon monoxide gases, along with the other combustion bi-products be properly exhausted to the exterior of the home. If carbon monoxide does not properly exhaust, however, it is impossible to detect without carbon monoxide detectors.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide detectors ring an audible alarm, very similar to a smoke detector in the event of a large amount of carbon monoxide build up. The alarms should be placed anywhere there is gas burning appliances, such as the furnace room, kitchen (where gas stoves are present), water heater locations, and gas burning fireplace locations. The alarms are simply plugged into the wall any outlet and will go off if an amount larger than the EPA (environmental protection agency) allowable amount is exceeded.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning affects the functions of the brain and starts to affect the brain in less than 30 seconds in large doses. The brain cells are quickly killed as the carbon monoxide is inhaled, starving the brain of oxygen and silently killing you as you breath. Many people who suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning, do not even realize it, which is why it is called, “The silent killer.” The warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include, confusion, blurred vision, sudden dizziness, and poor motor reflex responses.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is easily preventable and should not be taken lightly. In the season of giving, love, and celebration, makes sure you keep you family and loved ones safe with carbon monoxide detectors. There is no reason to be one of the statistics when you can simply be prepared.