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The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

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The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Is your home safe from Carbon monoxide (CO)? CO is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that is caused anytime a fuel is burned in vehicles, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges or furnaces. Accidental deaths from CO poisoning number around 1,000 each year. An even more astounding statistic is the annual emergency room visits attributed to CO exposure is staggering ­ around 43,000. While these numbers are alarming, you and your loved ones can be saved from the potentially fatal effects of this harmful gas.

It’s crucial that your home comfort system have sufficient ventilation and your heating components and appliances are in good working order and always properly maintained. The most important way to prevent CO poisoning is by having CO detectors installed outside of every sleeping area of your home. Most U.L. listed CO alarms that can be purchased at the big box stores will not go off until your family has been exposed to 70 ppm (parts per million) for over 3 1⁄2 hours! The international limits for unsafe levels, including OSHA and the World Health Organization’s guidelines, are between 15­35 ppm. Many reputable HVAC contractors will offer a high­grade CO detector that is able to alert occupants at 10 ppm, reacting more quickly for better protection.

Health and safety leaders also recommend that chimneys and fireplaces are checked annually for cleanliness and proper ventilation. Obstructions can cause a harmful buildup of CO. Never use charcoal grills indoors or use unvented combustion heaters overnight or in a room where people will be sleeping; and never run your vehicle’s engine inside the garage with the door down. By taking the proper steps for prevention, your home can be CO free. Contact Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air, your trusted heating and cooling contractor, today to have your indoor environment tested and install quality CO detectors for maximum in-­home safety.

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