February 21, 2014
When most people think of home safety, they often think of smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and fire escape plans. However, there is a silent killer in some homes that should be added to this list: carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless and poisonous gas that can be harmful and toxic to humans and animals. It is often produced by things we use on a regular basis, such as cars, fireplaces, barbecue and propane grills, and lawn mowers.
Because CO is odorless and colorless, people may not know they are being exposed to a deadly gas. Plus, the classic symptoms associated with CO poisoning – headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and lethargy – are similar to those of common illnesses.
To help keep you and your family safe at home, our Mesquite nursing team is sharing valuable information from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Install and operate all appliances according to the manufacturers’ instructions.
- Inspect and service your home’s heating system each year to ensure proper operation.
- Check chimneys and flues for blockages.
- Never burn charcoal inside a home, garage, vehicle or tent.
- Never leave a car running in an attached garage, even with the garage door open.
- Never use gas appliances such as ranges, ovens, or clothes dryers to heat your home.
Most importantly, all homes should have CO detectors installed in the hallway near all sleeping areas. If you already have CO detectors in your home, test them regularly to ensure they are functioning properly.
If your CO detectors ever sound, evacuate your home immediately and call 911. Do not re-enter the home until the emergency services responders have given you permission to do so.
For more information about CO detection, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.