Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Your Home

Carbon monoxide is a deadly poison that can creep into your home and cause health problems, or even fatalities if it is not recognized and stopped. That is why it is important to take steps to guard against this harmful substance. You have to have devices set up to detect it so that you can be aware of its presence when it shows up, and take the necessary steps to keep your family safe. It’s also important to know the basic actions that need to be avoided in order to prevent it from becoming an issue.

There are a number of different things that can generate carbon monoxide in a home. This deadly substance is produced whenever fuel is burned. However, in most devices there is an efficient process that limits how much carbon monoxide gets made, while also filtering it safely out of the interior space into the open where it can disperse. The problem is that when appliances start to get old they can break, which may result in a harmful buildup of this gas.

Dryers can be one of the worst potential sources of carbon monoxide build up. These have vents that expel heat and particulate out of the building when the machine operates. Over time those tubes can become clogged, backing up with lint and debris. That can cause a buildup of heat and harmful substances, including carbon monoxide, which will be forced back into the home whenever the appliance operates.

Carbon monoxide can also be produced by using portable generators, stoves, lanterns, gas ranges, or by burning charcoal in an enclosed interior space. Those devices are all manufactured to be used outdoors. When they are employed inside, the carbon monoxide that they make will have nowhere to go, and can concentrate to deadly levels. This most often happens during the winter when alternative sources of energy go out, and it becomes necessary to heat and operate a home using improvised products.

The fireplace can be another source of carbon monoxide gas. If the chimney is clogged up, then the CO that is produced by burning a fire will have nowhere to go, and will instead rush into the home in a process known as back drafting. That is why it is important to have chimney vents cleaned regularly by a professional company that is experienced with the safe process of unblocking these systems.

Unfortunately carbon monoxide is very insidious because it has no smell and it cannot be seen by the naked eye. That means that it can start building up in your home and you might never even know it. What is worse is that if you are sleeping or intoxicated, you won’t have any method for recognizing the problem, and without warning can end up perishing due to the concentration of this deadly gas. In fact hundreds of people each year fall prey to carbon monoxide poisoning.

The best defense against this hazard is to make sure that you have a quality carbon monoxide detector installed and functioning in your home. This should be stocked with fully charged batteries, and tested every 3-6 months to make sure that it is still operating properly. You should also avoid the use of devices which can produce excess amounts of this gas in interior spaces, and have your appliances serviced on a regular basis to ensure that all ventilation tubes are operating correctly. If you suspect the presence of carbon monoxide in your home then you need to get everyone out of the house immediately and should seek medical attention for you and your family.
You should also make sure that your dryer vents are cleaned by a professional periodically. This will help to prevent clogs, which can lead to the buildup of heat and in some cases carbon monoxide. At the same time, clear and healthy dryer vents will also save you money on your energy bill, which can in some cases pay for the work itself.