Written on: June 22, 2021
Carbon monoxide is often called a “silent killer,” because it is odorless and colorless.
Carbon monoxide replaces the oxygen in your red blood cells. As it builds up, CO starves vital organs like your brain, heart, and lungs of oxygen. Lack of oxygen can cause serious injury or death.
CO Poisoning often occurs in the night when people are sleeping. In these situations, people can be at risk before they have any symptoms.
These symptoms are usually described as flu-like, with typical symptoms including:
All people are vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning, but infants, children, the elderly and people with anemia, respiratory problems or chronic heart disease can be especially vulnerable.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that about 50,000 people end up in the emergency room with carbon monoxide poisoning each year, with 4,000 of them having to be hospitalized. About 430 people a year are killed by CO poisoning.
You should install a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home, including the basement, and outside all sleeping areas.
Change the batteries in your CO detectors every time you change the batteries on your smoke detector, which should be replaced each time Daylight Savings Time is thrown into alignment with Standard Time.
CO detectors needs to be replaced every five years.
Homes that use propane require a propane leak detector. Sometimes the rotten egg smell of propane may not be detected because of something like rust in your tank. Or you have a cold or allergies, and your sense of smell is less sharp.
Propane leak detectors are affordable and easy to install. They can be found at local hardware stores or online.
Do these three things if your carbon monoxide detector goes off:
If no CO buildup is found, it may be that the detector has malfunctioned. If this occurs, it should be retested.
NEVER use your propane gas stove or other propane-powered equipment for supplemental heat and don’t use propane-powered generators, grills, camp stoves or heaters indoors or in enclosed spaces like garages, carports, and sunporches. These appliances can quickly cause a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide (CO) in your home.
Have questions about propane safety? Please get in touch with us. We want to help our neighbors!