Carbon Monoxide Safety 101

Worried about the dangers of carbon monoxide? This toxic substance can be dangerous, but it doesn’t have to be a cause of concern as long as you understand and employ the correction safety precautions throughout your home. How can you safeguard your home and family from this toxic gas?

Carbon Monoxide Safety 101

What Is Carbon Monoxide and Where Does It Come From?

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that is hard for humans to detect since it doesn’t produce any odours, colour, or taste. Carbon monoxide (also known as CO) is produced by the incomplete combustion of natural gas. A common example of this is a gas furnace or car engine. CO is a by-product of both, which can pose a hidden danger if there is a carbon monoxide leak or if the car engine is left idling in a confined area.

What are the Symptoms and Dangers if Inhaled?

When someone is exposed to carbon monoxide, it immediately begins to reduce the transportation of oxygen through the bloodstream, which is crucial for your vital organs to function. This toxic gas can result in symptoms such as dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, nausea, burning eyes, and with enough exposure, it can lead to brain damage or death.

How Can I Detect a Carbon Monoxide Leak?

If you can’t see, smell or taste this toxic gas, you might be wondering how to detect it. Even though humans can’t sense CO, thankfully a carbon monoxide detector can. CO detectors can be found at any local hardware store. Once you’ve purchased a detector, always follow the instructions and test it out to ensure that it works. This should always be treated as severely as a fire. Get out of the house and call the fire department if the alarm is ever triggered.

It’s also important to note that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are not the same thing. Smoke detectors DO NOT detect carbon monoxide. So be sure to pick up one that is specifically for carbon monoxide detection. Many manufactures do sell combo smoke and CO detector units.

If you have children or other family members living in your household, make sure that they understand what it is and what to do if the alarm ever goes off. Check your CO detector seasonally. Press the test button to ensure the beeps sound and check that the batteries are still working.

How Can I Prevent a Leak?

If you do use a gas furnace, it’s important to have it regularly maintained each year by one of the expert technicians with Distinct Heating & Cooling. If you have a concern or any questions, please contact Distinct Heating & Cooling service at (403) 447-3810.  We are there for any emergency you may have or for any of your yearly service requirements.