The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

What you need to know about carbon monoxide

This blog post is sponsored by ADT.

There is a silent killer among us. According to the CDC, it is responsible for the deaths of about 400 Americans every year. It’s also the reason why more than 20000 people visit the emergency room and 4000 of them are hospitalized every year.

Good reasons to find out more about this threat in order to prevent it from getting its mark.

Who. It goes by the name of carbon monoxide, better known as CO.

What. It’s a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is slightly lighter than air.

Where. Carbon monoxide is not readily found in the atmosphere. However, it is produced by animal metabolic activities in small quantities - needed for normal biological functions.

When. Carbon monoxide in larger quantities is formed when fuels like coal and gas are burned without enough oxygen. So, instead of carbon dioxide, we get CO. The most common way of producing it is to use a stove in an enclosed space. 

Why. Well, what’s the fuss all about? Inhaling carbon monoxide results in the body replacing much-needed oxygen with carbon monoxide in the blood. And this can induce headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. More importantly, this can cause tissue damage and in more severe cases, death. Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning, especially babies, seniors and people with respiratory problems.

Here are a few simple but effective ways to keep the killer at bay.

Cleanliness is next to safety. Get your refrigerator, heating and plumbing, gas range and other such appliances checked and serviced by a qualified technician every year. No gas leaks, no CO poisoning. Keeping your chimney free from debris also helps prevent the buildup of CO in your home. 

Don’t settle for less.  Buying gas appliances certified by agencies like the American Gas Association means that these appliances have been tested and will not cause CO poisoning.

Some things are best left outdoors. These include charcoal grills, generators and camp stoves.

Get an alarm but don’t get alarmed.  Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home and connect it to an alarm. This alarm will beep when the levels of carbon monoxide are dangerously high. And if the alarm does go off, don’t panic. Call 911 and get to a hospital immediately. Don’t get back home till emergency services indicate that it’s safe to return.

So, don’t wait any longer! Protect yourself from CO poisoning and stay safe!

For more safety and security tips, visit ADT's Home Security Source website. Check out ADT on Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube for more information.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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