Carbon monoxide is a hidden danger that could be lurking in your home. However, it’s hard to tell because it is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas.
According to the National Safety Council, these dangerous fumes can be produced by burning fuel in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, portable generators or furnaces.
When the gas builds up in an enclosed space, people or animals who breath it in can be poisoned.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400 Americans die every year from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning.
So how do you prevent this silent killer from poisoning your home?
Well, first off, it is always recommended that you install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector in your home near all the bedrooms. It’s then best to change and replace the batteries in that detector when you change the clock for Daylight Savings Time.
Below are some additional tips from the CDC and the National Safety Council:
- Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
- Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors.
- Never use a generator inside your home, basement or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door or vent; fatal levels of carbon monoxide can be produced in just minutes.
- Have your chimney checked and cleaned every year, and make sure your fireplace damper is open before lighting a fire and well after the fire is extinguished.
- Make sure your gas appliances are vented properly.
- Never use a gas oven for heating your home.
- Never let a car idle in the garage.
- Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Related: Carbon Monoxide concerns for Winter
If there is carbon monoxide in your home, immediately move outside to fresh air and call 911. Then make sure everyone is out of the home and do not go back inside until emergency responders give you permission to do so.