The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that several thousand people go to hospital emergency rooms every year to be treated for CO poisoning.
Some of the commonly reported symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness. If anyone in the home is experiencing these symptoms, then you should consider having the home checked for carbon monoxide.
CO is produced by the incomplete burning of fuels, such as natural gas used in most appliances. Products and equipment powered by internal combustion also produce CO. For this reason, sleeping rooms should never open into an attached garage, where high levels of CO are produced when a car is started. Never operate a portable generator or any other gasoline engine-powered tool in or near an enclosed space. Never burn charcoal or portable fuel-burning camping equipment inside any enclosed area. Make sure appliances are installed and operated according to the manufacturer's instructions and local building codes. Have gas-fired appliances checked and adjusted annually. Never use gas appliances such as ranges, ovens, or clothes dryers to heat your home.
CO detectors are designed to alarm when high levels of CO are present to prevent death. However, they are not nearly as efficient at identifying low-level exposure that may result in poisoning. Installing a CO alarm that meets the minimum requirements for safety is an option and may be helpful, though it should not be used as a substitute for the proper use and upkeep of appliances that can produce CO. You may also opt for a low-level detector that will alarm at much lower levels of CO, but these tend to be much more expensive, around two hundred dollars. Yet they are well worth the price for the added protection if you live in a high-risk environment.
For more on this or other home care subjects, contact Scott at www.scottsauer.com.