Carbon monoxide cannot be detected by humans without the help of a detector. Did you know that one of the most dangerous things that can hurt you and your loved ones can be hiding right underneath your nose?! By definition, carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and a tasteless gas formed when a compound containing carbon burns incompletely because there is not enough oxygen. This gas is deadly to both animals and humans. Carbon monoxide is known as the “silent killer” because it is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and non- irritating.
Homes that are completely powered by electricity do not have problems with carbon monoxide. The deadly gas is only a potential threat to individuals who heat their homes or appliances with natural gas or another type of fossil fuel. Also, during power outages in the winter, some people bring gasoline powered generators inside. This is NOT a very good idea! By having a gasoline powered generator inside your home, you are exposing yourself to carbon monoxide, which explains the spike in carbon monoxide poisonings in the winter. During power outages, people are more likely to use carbon-monoxide-producing heating and cooking equipment as well as generators that may be situated close to vents, which can draw gas into the home. You may think you are keeping the family nice and warm, but you are exposing them to carbon monoxide. Keep appliances in good working order, and use them safely. Have them serviced regularly by a qualified and registered professional. Ask your utility company about yearly checkups for all gas appliances.
A kitchen stove was found to be one source of the leak in this article and the heating system is also being checked. The impacted apartment is part of a 5-unit complex. Firefighters said all units had missing or deactivated carbon monoxide detectors. There were no working smoke or carbon monoxide detectors.
This house is believed to have slowly been filled with a deadly level of carbon monoxide over a period of days due to the pipe leading outside from a coal-burning stove being clogged, along with a crack in the frame of that coal-burning stove.
After having a licensed heating and cooling provider inspect the heating system in the cabin, they found a “significant failure in the heating system, which would be consistent with carbon monoxide overcoming the residence.”
If the early signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are ignored, a person may lose consciousness and be unable to escape the danger. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. It has no smell, no taste, and no sound. Neither people nor animals can tell when they are breathing it, but it can be fatal.
What goes under the radar every single year is that over 20,000 people who are exposed to carbon monoxide and survive. There are long-lasting health issues when you are exposed to carbon monoxide over a long period time. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said about 430 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year and 50,000 are forced to seek medical care. 94 percent of CO poisonings occur in residential properties. The highest number of carbon monoxide related deaths occur in the winter months: December, January, or February. Given 374 carbon monoxide deaths and a total U.S. population of 319 million, the mortality rate from carbon monoxide poisoning is 1.2 deaths per one million Americans. 19 states, representing 41% of the U.S. population, had enacted regulations requiring carbon monoxide alarms in at least one major category of residence. Still, relying on people voluntarily using the alarms isn’t working – the CDC reports that only 30% of American homes have functioning carbon monoxide alarms.
Conclusions: Numbers of deaths and death rates, both accidental and intentional, due to carbon monoxide poisoning significantly declined in the United States due to enacting required residential carbon monoxide alarms.
You may be exposed to unsafe levels of carbon monoxide by:
• Using poorly maintained or unvented heating equipment.
• Improperly vented natural gas appliances like stoves or water heaters.
• Using a gas stove, grill, or oven to heat the home.
• Clogged chimneys or blocked heating exhaust vents can stop carbon monoxide from escaping.
• Cooking with a charcoal or gas grill inside the home or other enclosure.
• Using a propane camp stove, heater, or light inside a tent.
• Running vehicles in garages or other enclosed spaces. Leaving a car in a closed garage with its engine running can produce deadly amounts of carbon monoxide within 10 minutes.
• Running generators or gas-powered tools indoors or outside near windows, doors, or vents.
• Being near boat engine exhaust outlets.
• Fumes from certain paint removers and cleaning fluids can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
• House or building fires.
• Smoking cigarettes causes blood levels of carbon monoxide to rise.
Products that contain methylene chloride (dichloromethane) should be handled with care, because methylene chloride turns into carbon monoxide when it is breathed in.
Carbon monoxide is present in the exhaust gases of automobile engines and is very poisonous. Motor vehicles are responsible for 57% of unintentional deaths due to carbon monoxide and were associated with 71% of deaths.
This man was working on a vehicle in his garage when he was overcome with fumes. The home was not registered or equipped with a carbon monoxide detector as required by law.
Police believe these individuals sat in the closed garage with the vehicle running.
Did you know they are the most susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning? Higher death rates were seen among black individuals, small children, and the elderly in winter months and in cold, high-altitude states. All people are at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Unborn babies, infants, the elderly, and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems are generally more at risk than others.
• Unborn babies. Fetal blood cells take up carbon monoxide more readily than adult blood cells do. This makes unborn babies more susceptible to harm from carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Children. Young children take breaths more frequently than adults do, which may make them more susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Older adults. Older people who experience carbon monoxide poisoning may be more likely to develop brain damage.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be especially dangerous for people who are sleeping or intoxicated. People may have irreversible brain damage or even be killed before anyone realizes there’s a problem. Carbon monoxide detectors can be life saving!
In this tragedy, a 72-year-old woman was found unresponsive in her home along with a 5-year-old girl. Firefighters found the stove still hot to the touch and measured the highest carbon monoxide levels in the kitchen. There were no carbon monoxide detectors present and in this case a detector may have saved a life.
Persons with carbon monoxide poisoning often overlook the symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include:
• Dull headache
• Nausea or vomiting
• Shortness of breath
• Blurred vision
• Loss of consciousness
Undetected exposure can be fatal. If carbon monoxide levels are high enough, you may become unconscious or die. Exposure to moderate and elevated levels of carbon monoxide over extended periods of time has also been linked with increased risk of heart disease.
How is carbon monoxide harmful to the body? Carbon monoxide is harmful when breathed because it displaces oxygen in the blood and deprives the heart, brain, and other vital organs of oxygen. Copious amounts of carbon monoxide can overcome you in minutes without warning—causing you to lose consciousness and suffocate. Carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin over 200 times more easily than oxygen does, so if carbon monoxide is present, oxygen will not be able to find space to get into the hemoglobin. This is because the space is occupied with carbon monoxide instead. As a result, parts of the body will be starved of oxygen, and the affected parts will die. The human body needs oxygen, but it has no use for carbon monoxide. If we breathe in carbon monoxide, it provides no benefit, but it deprives the blood of oxygen.
The warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning can be subtle. But the condition is a life-threatening medical emergency. If you think you or someone you’re with may have carbon monoxide poisoning, get into fresh air, and seek emergency medical care. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be reversed if caught in time.
This couple had only lived in their home for two and a half weeks when they were hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning. The husband was treated in a hyperbaric chamber to replace the dangerous level of carbon monoxide in his blood with oxygen.
If household appliances are well serviced and used safely, they should produce negligible quantities of carbon monoxide gas. Using old appliances, and not servicing them frequently, leads to a higher risk of carbon monoxide emission. Keep appliances in good working order, and use them safely. Have them serviced regularly by a qualified and registered professional. Ask your utility company about yearly checkups for all gas appliances, including your furnace. This is also an appropriate time to check the batteries in all your detectors and to check with your security company to make sure everything is up and running properly. It is important to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. An alarm should be placed in every sleeping area in the house and should be checked regularly.
Simple precautions can help prevent the leakage of carbon monoxide & carbon monoxide poisoning:
• Install carbon monoxide detectors. Put one in the hallway near each sleeping area in your house. Check the batteries every time you check your smoke detector batteries — at least twice a year. If the alarm sounds, leave the house and call 911 or the fire department. Carbon monoxide detectors are also available for motor homes and boats.
• Make sure all rooms are well ventilated and that vents are not blocked. Be especially careful in well-insulated environments.
• Open the garage door before starting your car. Never leave your car running in your garage. Be particularly cautious if you have an attached garage. Leaving your car running in a space attached to the rest of your house is never safe, even with the garage door open. Do not leave any other type of gasoline-powered motor running in a garage at all. For example, motorbikes, cars, or lawn mowers.
• Service the exhaust pipe in a motor vehicle every year.
• If the tailgate of a vehicle is open and the engine is running, open the doors and windows too.
• Use gas appliances as recommended. Never use a gas stove or oven to heat your home. Use portable gas camp stoves outdoors only. Use fuel-burning space heaters only when someone is awake to monitor them, and doors or windows are open to provide fresh air. Don’t run a generator in an enclosed space, such as the basement or garage. Never use a generator within 20 feet of a window, door, or vent. Be careful when using gas-powered tools and equipment inside rooms. And always wear a mask when using products that contain methylene chloride.
• Keep your fuel-burning appliances and engines properly vented. These include:
o Space heaters
o Charcoal grills
o Cooking ranges
o Water heaters
o Portable generators
o Wood-burning stoves
o Car and truck engines
• If you have a fireplace, keep it in good repair. Have chimneys and flues swept thoroughly regularly by a fully-qualified sweep, at least once a year.
• Keep vents and chimneys unblocked during remodeling. Check that they aren’t covered by tarps or debris.
• Do repairs before returning to the site of an incident. If carbon monoxide poisoning has occurred in your home, it’s critical to find and repair the source of the carbon monoxide before you stay there again. Your local fire department or utility company may be able to help.
These unfortunate deaths were a result of unventilated propane heaters inside the trailer which produced a significant level of carbon monoxide inside the camper.
In this situation, a staff member was working in an enclosed area with a space heater that caused a buildup of the gas.
This tragedy was the result of a collapsed clay liner inside the chimney that blocked the gas exhaust, causing the gas buildup in a multi-family home.
The CDC advises every household to install a carbon monoxide alarm. Some detectors have a digital readout. Others give out a loud, high-pitched sound when levels of carbon monoxide pass a certain limit. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, long-term exposure to 1 to 70 ppm of CO will not normally cause any harm, but people with heart problems may have chest pain. Levels of over 70 ppm may cause noticeable symptoms, and if they reach above 150 to 200 ppm, they may cause disorientation, unconsciousness, and death.
By having an Ultrasync Smart Hub installed in the home, you can connect your carbon monoxide sensors right to the alarm itself. The advantages of connecting the detectors to the alarm? All of our alarms are either connected to Central Station Monitoring or are set up to send alerts directly to your smart device or you can even set it up to do both. Central station monitoring is a full-service nationally UL intrusion and fire alarm central station providing professional services since 1982. Having your professionally installed security alarm connected with Central Station Monitoring will alert the proper authorities when the alarm is triggered to respond to your home. Rest assured that Central Station alerts and sends the fire department right to your home before your home reaches the dangerous levels of gas that will make you sick, if not worse.
By having your carbon monoxide detectors installed by our professionally trained technicians, you will be able to sleep easier at night. Our technicians are trained to know the proper placement on where to put your carbon monoxide and fire detectors that are connected directly to Central Station Monitoring. Keep your family protected today by not only installing carbon monoxide detectors, but having them monitored through a professional alarm monitoring company 24 hours a day.
COPS Monitoring has more Five Diamond Central Stations than any other company in the industry and has been honored as the TMA Central Station of the Year. COPS monitoring is the largest wholesale alarm monitoring provider in the United States monitoring over 2,400,000 accounts for more than 3,500 independent alarm dealers from their six hot redundant and load sharing central stations in New Jersey, Florida, Arizona, Tennessee, and Texas, and Maryland. They are UL listed, FM approved, IQ certified, and have more TMA Five Diamond certified central stations than any other company in the industry and has been honored as the TMA Central Station of the Year.
Adding an alarm to your home to have these carbon monoxide detectors attached to is a great idea, but they are useless if they don’t work properly. When choosing home security, it’s an investment, and when making this investment, you need to think quickly but hard on the choice you make when you choose the company to do your home security. Shop around and be sure the company you choose is BBB accredited. Read the company reviews and make sure the Central Station Monitoring you choose is UL listed. (As a side note don’t forget to check with your homeowner’s insurance. Many companies offer a discount to homeowners with UL listed alarms, and now some companies offer discounts for installing security camera systems to your home. Check with your provider to see the discounts they are willing to offer.)
Don’t fall victim to the ‘silent killer’. Protect yourself and your family by having carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home and business. These sensors connect right to your alarm monitored by central station 24 hours a day and alert the fire department before the home reaches dangerous levels of this gas. Don’t underestimate what these detectors can do for you! Take control of your safety. Call Central Jersey Security Cameras today to prevent a tragedy. 732-333-0227