When it comes to dangers in our home, one of the few things we think about is carbon monoxide. We focus on falling hazards, electricity issues, fire and flooding. But when was the last time you considered your heating and furnace? When was the last time you considered whether or not it is leaking a silent, toxic fume into your home?
Today we are going to discuss answer question like “is carbon monoxide dangerous” and more to keep you and your home safe, and what to do if you think you have a leak.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and poisonous gas that can be found in our homes. Despite the danger it poses, we rarely consider our heating and furnace when it comes to home hazards. Carbon monoxide is produced when natural gas and other carbon-containing materials are burned incompletely.
It is a common industrial hazard in places like forges, blast furnaces, and coke ovens, and also from internal combustion engines. Gas heaters, central heating units, space heaters, wall units, and gas log fires should be serviced every two years by a licensed gas fitter who has completed training on detecting and correcting risks of carbon monoxide spillage.
Is Carbon Monoxide Dangerous?
Carbon monoxide is incredibly harmful when inhaled as it displaces oxygen in the blood, depriving the brain, heart, and other vital organs of oxygen. Large amounts of carbon monoxide can cause unconsciousness and suffocation within minutes. It is difficult for coroners to determine if someone has died from carbon monoxide poisoning. In Australia, 15 deaths between 2011 and 2016 were clearly attributed to using gas and solid fuel appliances in confined spaces without adequate ventilation. In the United States, hundreds of people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be prevented by purchasing a CO monitor. Some are calling for them to be mandatory in all homes.
What are the Symptoms CO Poisoning?
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are flu-like and can include dizziness, headache, weakness, vomiting, confusion, and chest pain. Long-term exposure can lead to loss of consciousness, seizures, arrhythmias, or death. The symptoms can be difficult to detect, and people who are sleeping or intoxicated can die before experiencing any symptoms.
Carbon monoxide stops oxygen from getting into the bloodstream, depriving vital organs like the lungs, heart, and brain of oxygen. High doses can cause death from asphyxiation. Carbon monoxide can make you feel short of breath, especially when undertaking strenuous activities. The longer your exposure to carbon monoxide, the more damage it can cause to your body, resulting in lung disease and cardiovascular issues. The nervous system can also be severely impacted, causing symptoms like nausea, headaches, fatigue, memory loss, and disorientation.
How Does Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Affect Children Compared to Adults?
Children and babies are at higher risk of permanent organ damage from carbon monoxide poisoning since their organs are still maturing. They breathe faster and inhale up to twice as much air as adults, particularly when sleeping. Unborn babies are also at high risk of carbon monoxide poisoning since they are the most susceptible to carbon monoxide’s toxic effects.
If you have a heater or furnace that is long overdue for maintenance and servicing, or one that you suspect is leaking carbon monoxide, contact the team at Tabreed today. We offer a quick response time so call us now!