Carbon Monoxide is one of those things that you may not notice until it is too late and unfortunately every year about 200 people die from it. Where does it come from? It is a byproduct of combustion .. meaning it can come from your furnace, fireplace or a space heater that uses fuel such as propane or kerosine or possibly your gas stove.
If you are having a problem with carbon monoxide you want to:
First leave the home as fast as you can get everyone and your pets out. If the situation is drastic and you are dizzy and or vomiting and feel very weak then get yourself out first so you can get some oxygen in your system. If you and everyone else passes out no one will be able to help. Once outside squat with your elbows on your knees and your head down and breath hard and fast so oxygen will enter your blood. However do not hyperventilate (breathing too fast and hard can also make you dizzy).
Second call the fire department.
Then from the outside of your home walk around and open your doors. Hopefully a breeze will help remove much of it from your house.
You may need additional help from a HVAC technician or the gas company.
The fire department may want to turn off your Gas.
How to Detect Carbon Monoxide in your home.
Your body is your first defense.
If you start coughing, have a headache and your eyes burn and you feel tired or overwhelmed this is a serious indication there could be a problem. Carbon Monoxide does not have a standard order but often you can smell other parts of the combustion reaction that let you know it is present. That smell you notice from a car’s exhaust is one such smell.
Because there is no standard odor or other indicator such as smoke that make it visible to us Alarms are available to detect carbon monoxide.
Because this is a potential life threatening problem you must refer to and follow the instructions that come with your carbon monoxide alarm as to how it should be installed and where it should be placed in your home. Take special note to not only which rooms it should be installed in but also the height off of the ground that it should be placed.
The suggestions may include placing one detector in the hallway outside of bedrooms, placing a detector in each bedroom and as we do in our home we place one near devices such as our furnace that is in our basement so we know that if there is a problem in the basement we won’t enter the basement.
A good method is installing a number of these detectors in your home in different locations and then tying them into your home’s fire alarm or burglary alarm system. Manufacturers of burglar alarms often make this process easy by the use of wireless integration. This means you will also get a report if you are away from your home as you would for fire or a burglary.
Remember you can always visit your local fire department or call your fire marshal for more information. They often even provide free visits to your home to inspect your fire and carbon monoxide testers which is a large benefit for senior citizens.