To most of us our home is our castle. A place we raise our families, eat our meals and spend the holidays. What would you do if you knew there were bad things that could be lurking in your home that could cause your family great danger or even death? Would you take what ever actions necessary to get this danger out of your home?
I’ll bet the answer is YES. The dangers I am speaking of is in the form of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that collects to some extent in every home all over the world. This gas is highly toxic and can kill a person in a matter of minutes. Carbon monoxide, or CO, is generated mostly by fuel burning appliances located within your home including oil and gas furnaces, gas water heaters, gas ranges and so on and are especially so on the older models that do not vent their fumes to the outside.
Appliances are not the only culprits; a car sitting in a closed garage can send lethal doses of this gas directly to your family killing them in less time than it takes to watch a week night television show. The signs and symptoms of this killer are severe headaches, dizzy, confused and being very lethargic. If you find yourself or a loved one with these symptoms remove them immediately from the home and get them to fresh air. Detection devises for carbon monoxide have been around for many years and have been widely used in the boat and RV world with great success. In the past several years we have seen more CO monitoring devises placed in single family homes as an early warning monitoring system. This is a great idea but don’t rely on the alarms solely. There are still other measures you as a home owner should do and not do.
-Do have your fuel burning devises inspected by a licensed technician at the beginning of each season.
-Do choose the newest fuel burning appliances whenever possible and have them installed properly with the fumes vented to the outside of the home.
-Do install a CO detector in your home.
-Don’t idle your car in the garage even if the door is open as fumes can build up very quickly.
-Don’t use gas ovens or stoves to heat your home.
Most importantly, don’t ignore the symptoms, particularly if more than one person is experiencing them. If symptoms are present get out of the home and into fresh air quickly.
We still live in the most beautiful place on the planet here on Amelia Island, but even in paradise you still have to be aware of danger.