Keeping your home safe doesn’t just mean preventing burglars from making it a target. Your home is also at risk from other threats too. Fires, accidents, severe weather and chemical leaks are all vulnerabilities that every home has in common. Carbon monoxide (CO) is one particular chemical that can be extremely harmful.
How severe are the risks?
Often dubbed the “silent killer,” the toxic fumes of carbon monoxide are impossible to see, taste or smell. According to the EPA, it can even kill you before you are aware it is in your home. carbon monoxide is most commonly introduced into homes as a byproduct of combustion of fuel for heating and cooking and can be trapped because of inadequate ventilation.
In extreme cases, CO gases can accumulate at high levels and become harmful quickly. But even in low doses, carbon monoxide can build up in your system over time and wreak havoc on your auto-immune system. It’s important to be aware of the warning signs of carbon monoxide exposure which can include flu-like symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue.
Despite widespread warnings, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, on average, more than 400 Americans die from CO poisoning annually. Listen to the warnings and make sure no one in your home falls victim!
What regulations are in place to protect citizens?
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends every home have a carbon monoxide alarm on every floor level, outside each sleeping area. Additionally, more than 30 states in the U.S. (Arkansas, Colorado and Connecticut, for example) have carbon monoxide laws requiring sensors be installed in homes, apartments and daycare facilities in case of an accident.
Simply having the regulations in place doesn’t protect your home, though. It is important to make sure the sensors are tested and maintained properly so they are able to alert you. Check the batteries regularly and test your alarm weekly so you can rest easy.
Following regulations on the proper use of appliances and building codes is also critical. Make sure vents for gas appliances such as stoves and water heaters stay clear of any material and have clearance from nearby objects. During construction, leave chimneys and appliance vents free of any coverings as well. These actions allow the gas exhaust to flow freely and prevents the concentration of CO gas in the home.
How Protection 1 can help!
Protection 1 offers a comprehensive hazard monitoring service which includes installing the detectors. The service also offers several methods of 24-hour detection and monitoring, extended life and backup, automatic emergency signals in the event you are incapacitated by toxic fumes and instant notification if detectors malfunction. Having these sensors monitored can minimize risks of fatality and get help on site immediately in the case of carbon monoxide presence.
Do you have questions about carbon monoxide risks or prevention? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook!