Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, non-irritating toxic gas, which is produced by incomplete combustion of carbon-based substances. Since the gas is undetectable, you may remain ignorant about its presence, resulting in a hazard to your life. It has been proved that exposure to large amounts of carbon monoxide can cause significant intoxication and even death. Automobile engines, industrial equipments, indoor or portable heaters, camp stoves or lanterns and charcoal grills are some of the things that release high levels of carbon monoxide. Avoiding its poisoning is an easy task, only if you adhere to some do’s and don’ts. In the following line, we have provided tips on how to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Avoiding Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- One of the most important factors for reducing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is to ensure proper installation, operation and maintenance of fuel-burning appliances at home.
- Never ever run automobiles, motorcycles, lawn mowers or snow blowers in enclosed spaces, like garage and store room.
- Do not burn charcoal inside the home, even if the temperature outside is extremely cold. At the same time, do not use a gas oven to heat your house.
- Regularly check the vents on your fireplace and stove for improper connections, visible cracks, rust or stains. Make sure that they are open and expel the gas right outside the house.
- By no means should you use a generator, camp stove or any type of gas/ oil burning device inside the house. You should not use them even if they are placed near a window.
- It is very important to get the gas-burning appliances and heating systems, like water heater and other oil or gas burning appliances, checked annually. Make certain that the flues and chimneys are properly connected and are in good condition, and not blocked.
- Make sure that the flues and chimneys in your house are inspected on an yearly basis.
- It is advisable never to sleep in a room that has a portable gas or propane-burning heater or lantern.
- Installing carbon monoxide detectors in the house is beneficial, as they detect the presence of carbon monoxide easily and warn you of the same.
- It is advisable not to use gasoline-powered tools and engines indoors. In case the use is unavoidable, make sure that there is adequate ventilation. If possible, place engine unit to exhaust outdoors.
- Do not service fuel-burning appliances unless you have a proper knowledge, skills and tools for the same. It is suggested to refer to the manual when performing minor adjustments or servicing fuel-burning appliances.
- Look for indicative problems that suggest improper functioning of the appliance. Some of the factors you could look into are decreased hot water supply, furnace being unable to heat house or run continuously, sooting, especially on appliances and vents, burning odor, increased moisture inside of windows and so on.
- It is good to be cautious, while using a propane or kerosene-fired space heater or portable generator, instead of repenting later.