Important Carbon Monoxide Safety Information
Written on: October 25, 2021
Safety reminders for you and your family
Carbon monoxide (often referred to as CO) is a dangerous gas. Exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal. It’s important that you know the risks and how to spot the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and take appropriate action.
Carbon monoxide safety reminders
Here are some basic facts about carbon monoxide that you and your family members should be aware of:
- Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless.
- Carbon monoxide is produced when any fuel is burned (coal, heating oil, propane, wood, etc.).
- Exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, which in turn can cause any of the following: illness, disorientation, and death.
- Carbon monoxide can accumulate due to poor ventilation or malfunctioning equipment. A blocked vent/flue, a broken or poorly functioning heating system, or overuse of an unvented heating appliance can all put your home at risk for a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for roughly 20,000 emergency room visits annually.
Carbon monoxide poising symptoms
The longer the exposure to carbon monoxide, the worse the symptoms are likely to be. Limited exposure can cause flu-like symptoms. Moderate exposure can cause severe headache, drowsiness, and disorientation. Prolonged exposure can cause unconsciousness, cardiac arrest, and death. If someone may have been exposed to carbon monoxide, get them into fresh air as soon as possible and have them seek immediate emergency medical care. Visit the Mayo Clinic website for additional information on carbon monoxide poisoning.
First aid for carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a medical emergency. Take the following steps if you or someone around you shows signs of carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Get fresh air immediately. If you’re indoors, open any nearby windows and doors and get outside as quickly as possible.
- Call 911.
- Have all of your fuel-burning appliances professionally inspected before you use them again.
How to avoid carbon monoxide dangers in your home
Even though carbon monoxide is very dangerous, there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent any serious complications in your North Carolina home.
- Have all of your heating equipment professionally serviced on a regular basis. A trained professional can spot potential hazards before they put your family at risk. If it’s been over a year since your last maintenance visit, don’t wait another day. At Briles Oil & Gas we maintain and repair water heaters, grills & firepits, hearth products & gas logs, and space heaters.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your house. Batteries should be replaced yearly. The detectors themselves should be replaced every five years.
- Keep outdoor exhaust vents clear. Check all vents, flues, etc. after a storm to make sure they’re clear. Use something soft like a broom to avoid causing damage to your equipment.
- Pets tend to show signs of carbon monoxide exposure first since they’re smaller. If your pet seems sick, uncharacteristically drowsy, or slow to wake, get the animal outside, open your windows, and check you CO detectors.
- Never, ever use outdoor equipment inside (e.g., BBQ grills, portable generators, space heaters). If it’s meant for outdoor use, it can’t be operated safely inside.
Briles Oil & Gas cares about the safety of its customers. In Randolph and Davidson counties, and in a wide-ranging service area from Denton to Ramseur and Star to Level Cross, we provide regular professional maintenance to keep your equipment running safely and at its peak efficiency. Our technicians provide prompt, courteous service and get the job done right the first time.
At Briles Oil & Gas, we’re here for you. Contact us today to learn more or schedule your next maintenance visit.