Every building needs a carbon monoxide detector. But what exactly is carbon monoxide, and why is it so dangerous? If you’re anything like most people, you may be unsure of the specific reasons you need to be careful about carbon monoxide. Here is a brief introduction to this deadly gas and what everybody needs to know about it.
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a flammable gas that is also a common pollutant. It is the single most common cause of poisoning-related deaths in the U.S. Carbon monoxide is colorless, does not have an odor, and does not have a taste. This is one of the reasons it is so dangerous—unlike many other poisonous gases, this one does not announce its presence.
How can you tell if you have carbon monoxide poisoning?
Because you can’t see, smell, or taste carbon monoxide, the best way to identify its presence is to have a carbon monoxide detector in your building. You should also know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, which come on very suddenly. They include confusion, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and pain in the chest.
How can you prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?
Along with installing a detector and changing the battery whenever necessary, you should have your furnace checked out by an HVAC professional every year. This will help to ensure that you don’t develop any issues that can increase your risk of carbon monoxide fumes. If you have a chimney in your house, then you should also have it cleaned annually. In general, being responsible about maintaining your HVAC system will help you keep your home safe.
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