Home security doesn’t stop at keeping your home safe from intruders. It includes keeping it safe from dangers such as carbon monoxide or other safety concerns. Find out all you need to know about carbon monoxide, as well as practical tips to keep your Atlanta home safe during the winter months.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide, also known as CO, is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that is found in fumes from burning fuel. Fireplaces, heaters that use kerosene, grills, stoves, gas ranges, small engines, generators and other fuel-burning devices all give off carbon monoxide. When used indoors, carbon monoxide can accumulate and reach dangerous, even fatal, levels when breathed in. Caution is necessary when using such items during cold spells, and using grills inside is never recommended. According to the CDC, 400 American deaths are due to carbon monoxide poisoning each year.
What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Carbon Monoxide poisoning occurs when a person has breathed in too much carbon monoxide. This kind of poisoning occurs when the amount of carbon monoxide begins to replace the amount of oxygen in a person’s brain. Symptoms include flu-like issues, headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion, vomiting and chest pain. Because it is impossible for humans to detect carbon monoxide, it is possible to breath in amounts that may cause a person to pass out or die. It is not unusual for people who are sleeping or intoxicated to die before they even experience symptoms.
Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Home from the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide
Safety at home, begins with taking charge. Fortunately for homeowners, there are several simple steps you can incorporate into your home security routine to help protect your Atlanta home against carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Invest in Carbon Monoxide Detectors There are several carbon monoxide detectors on the market, including electronic, battery-operated, smoke and carbon monoxide combination and ones that plug into a wall outlet. Consider placing detectors in or near your bedroom so that the alarm will wake you in an emergency. Detectors are also a great home safety tip, for senior citizens.
- Clean Your Fireplace and Chimney Each Year When not in use, debris such as birds nests, leaves, soot and other dirt can build up in your chimney. This can cause carbon monoxide to build up in your home when you light the first fire of the year. Have a professional clean out your chimney to prevent this from happening.
- Do Not Use Grills Indoors It may seem like a good idea to use your grill inside when the power is out and snow is coating the ground, but it’s one of the most cited causes of carbon monoxide poisoning. Avoid using ANY kind of grill indoors, for cooking or heating. Period.
- Do Not Use a Gas-top Range Oven for Heating If you have a gas-top stove, do not use it to heat your home, as this will only cause carbon monoxide to build up inside.
- Operate Generators Outdoors Do not operate a generator indoors, such as in a garage. This will cause carbon monoxide to build up inside and lead to rising carbon monoxide levels.