Every year there are usually one or two stories in the news about the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. They are always difficult to hear, especially when the outcome is fatal.

Especially because it doesn’t have to happen.

Carbon monoxide poisoning isn’t something new. And its not something that will be removed from our society any time soon.

Can Your Gas Appliances Make You Sick?

Carbon monoxide is a deadly, colorless, odorless, poisonous gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of fuels such as coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, or natural gas. Any appliance, product or equipment that is powered by one of these fuels has the risk of malfunctioning and putting a person in danger.

Its not based on how old the appliance is or how many hours of use its had. It doesn’t matter if its operated correctly for years. What does matter is that you stay ahead of the potential danger by doing two things:

  1. Always install gas appliance correctly, and use professional contractors to ensure safety requirements are met.
  1. Perform regular inspections on all gas producing equipment.

Our senses cannot pick up the presence of carbon monoxide in the air. Which means the only way we can determine if its present is to start showing symptoms of being poisoned. They start out in a flu-like manner:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • dizziness

And quickly escalate as the poisoning increases:

  • Mental confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Death

A starting point is to install a carbon monoxide detector you can find at your local hardware store. But keep in mind that these are designed to activate when carbon monoxide levels reach 70 parts per million. The problem is by the time levels reach that high, side effects are already occurring. A hard wired carbon monoxide detector will trigger at just 10 parts per million, giving you plenty of time to get to safety and have the situation rectified before any further damage can occur.

One more way to prevent carbon monoxide leaks and poisoning is to have an annual water heater performance and safety inspection each year. One of our plumbers will thoroughly inspect your water heater looking for wear and tear, sediment buildup, corrosion, and gas leaks or potential hazards that could release carbon monoxide into your home.

Give us a call today. Prevention is the cure.