The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a silent killer. Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless and tasteless gas created when fossil fuels, such as gasoline, wood, coal, propane, oil and methane, do not burn completely. Improperly maintained heating and cooking equipment are possible sources of carbon monoxide in the home. Vehicles running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide replaces oxygen in the bloodstream. As more and more CO accumulates in the blood, suffocation occurs. Mild CO poisoning often appears like the flu, but more serious poisoning can lead to difficulty breathing and even death. Victims exposed to high levels of CO can become seriously ill or die in less than 15 minutes.

Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. Yet, many people do not know they are suffering from CO poisoning until it's too late. That's why a carbon monoxide detector is an excellent way to protect your family. It can detect the CO you cannot see, smell or taste in the air.

To avoid the tragedy of CO poisoning be sure that space heaters are properly vented, never use barbecue grills indoors, and check fireplaces for closed, blocked or bent flues, soot and debris. Regularly check all appliances in the home that use flammable fuels such as natural gas, oil, propane, wood or kerosene. Make sure that you and your family members know the difference between the sound of smoke and fire alarms and the sound of CO alarms in your home.