Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas potentially present in homes. Commonly called CO, this gas has no odor. It also is colorless, so it is impossible to see it. Yet, even a moderate dose of it can lead to death. It is essential to know the risks. Most home insurance agencies — including Busha Okeson Insurance — encourage property owners to have devices to detect this gas. Yet, prevention is always important.
What Causes It?
Carbon monoxide comes from the fumes released by various fuels when they burn. This includes small engines and stoves. It can include trucks and vehicles. Your furnace can produce it as well. Gas fireplaces, ranges, and almost any type of lantern in the home can be a risk factor.
Each one of these systems needs proper venting. It can ensure the gas escapes the home. When there is a lack of venting, the fumes may back up into the home. This can cause a life-threatening situation.
Yet, as serious as this problem is, it is hard to detect when carbon monoxide might be present.
How You Feel Matters
It is important to check each one of the gas-producing systems in your home. Look for signs of damage to the home's air vents. Consider areas of concern after a storm. Even pests can chew vents, creating risks. But, the most important way to minimize the risk of carbon monoxide is to learn the warning signs.
- Weakness or any type of instability when standing or moving
- Unexplained headaches
- Being dizzy
- Upset stomach
- Trouble waking
- Chest pain
If this is occurring, get out of the home immediately. Call the fire and ambulance services to have the entire family treated. This ensures you have the best chance at reducing risks.
Improve Your Home's Safety
Long before these symptoms occur, you could be outside. If you have a carbon monoxide detector in place, it will signal when levels increase. It will sound when you need to leave the home.
Install these systems. Be sure they have a battery backup. And, then, test them every month to ensure they are working properly. It is virtually impossible to learn of a leak like this early on without some type of warning system in place.
It is always a good idea to improve the safety of your home. We at Busha-Okeson Insurance recommend fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors. Do not overlook the importance of maintaining these systems. And, be sure to perform standard safety tests on each system in your home to keep it safe.