Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that poses a serious threat to human health. Every year, numerous cases of carbon monoxide poisoning are reported, leading to severe illness and even fatalities. Understanding the causes of carbon monoxide in your home will enable you to take the appropriate preventive measures so that you can safeguard yourselves and your loved ones from this silent killer.
Why is carbon monoxide dangerous? Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when people inhale the gas in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation. When inhaled it replaces oxygen in the blood, leading to oxygen deprivation in vital organs.
Common sources of carbon monoxide include household appliances like gas stoves, water heaters, and furnaces which can produce carbon monoxide if not functioning correctly. Heating systems, especially those fueled by gas or oil, need regular maintenance to prevent carbon monoxide leaks.
Carbon monoxide can also build up in your garage if you are not careful. Running a vehicle in an enclosed space, such as a closed garage, can lead to a buildup of carbon monoxide, so never leave a running vehicle in a closed garage and avoid running a vehicle even if the garage door is open.
How to protect yourself
Installing carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home is vital to provide an early warning of gas leaks. Ensure all home appliances are well-maintained and serviced annually by professionals. Make sure there is proper ventilation in enclosed spaces to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.