Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Simple Survival Tips - Avoiding Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon_monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and deadly gas. When you are exposed to carbon monoxide, it limits the blood's capacity to carry oxygen throughout your body. This will literally cause your body to die from a lack of oxygen. Carbon monoxide can form in the air through an improperly working heater or furnace, a wood-burning stove, a gas range or water heater, a home fireplace, or any one of a number of devices that burn any type of combustible fuel or oil. Carbon_monoxide_poisoning kills hundreds of people each year and sends thousands more to hospital emergency rooms. Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms can often be confused with flu symptoms but rapidly become much more serious in nature.

Common symptoms include headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, irregular breathing, mental confusion, unconsciousness, and if present in sufficient quantity it can even lead to death. The best way to protect yourself and your family is through prevention and the use of a quality carbon monoxide detector. Everyone is susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide. The majority of medical experts feel that small children, senior citizens, pregnant women and people with heart or respiratory problems are probably more susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide.

Safety Tips for Avoiding Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

1.) Keep fresh air circulating throughout any heated areas at all times.

2.) Open a window or vent in order to eliminate any toxic fumes that may build up.

3.) Appliances should be properly vented to direct fumes outdoors and away from any living areas.

4.) Install carbon monoxide detectors with an audible warning alarm. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper installation and maintenance.

5.) Perform proper maintenance on your carbon monoxide detectors on a regularly basis.

6.) Check your furnaces, stoves, fireplaces, and water heaters prior to winter to make sure they are working properly and are properly vented.

7.) Never run the engine in your vehicle in an enclosed area. Always open the garage door before starting your vehicle. Never run a generator indoors.

8.) Never use charcoal or wood burning grills inside your home.

9.) Never operate gas-burning heaters in a closed environment without proper ventilation.

10.) Test your carbon monoxide detectors on a regular basis in order to make sure they are functioning properly. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed detectors that sound an audible warning are probably one of the better types to use.

Prevention and early detection are your best protection from the often deadly effects of carbon monoxide. Sometimes the biggest dangers from winter aren’t on the outside, but on the inside of your home.

Staying above the water line!


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