Carbon monoxide is labelled a
silent killer, resulting in deaths across the world each year. It also can cause serious health complications.
This toxic gas has no colour or smell, overpowering humans. It is also lighter than air and can accumulate in tightly confined spaces such as the ceiling or in the walls.
Carbon monoxide poisons people by entering the body through the airway and then entering the blood through the lungs. It blocks the access of oxygen in the body and can cause organ damage, or even death.
This is why today at homify, we've put together a guide on how to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning in your home as well as what the symptoms are. We've also added tips for treatment too.
This information could save the lives of you and your loved ones!
Carbon monoxide is produced by a combustion of certain substances, combined with a small amount of oxygen. It is formed by the incomplete combustion of fuels such as wood, oil, gas, gasoline, kerosene, propane, coal, oil and other fuel sources.
The main reason that it forms is because there is a lack of fresh air in the home or the fuel source is leaking, polluting the ventilation. For example, you may have an improperly installed heating system.
With cold weather and strong winds, the fumes can get congested inside the home. This is why carbon monoxide is particularly dangerous in the cold weather when we are heating our homes more often.
Remember that in small rooms such as the bathroom, where there is no functioning chimney or ventilation system, a lethal dose of carbon monoxide can be created in just a few minutes.
When installing appliances and heating systems, make sure that you only use the services of a qualified professional. Also only ever use your appliances for their intended purpose! Devices should be controlled technically according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Remember that ventilation is also very important so don't cover the ventilation grills or openings in rooms, especially if they contain gas appliances.
You should also check your ventilation grills and holes every so often to make sure that there is nothing blocking them. If anything becomes a concern, immediately contact a chimney sweep.
There are some smaller rooms in the house that are more suspectible to combustion, including kitchens and bathrooms. This is why it's so important to have a window in this room, especially if there is any source of fire. You want the fresh air to constantly flow through this space, blowing any gases out of the home.
If you can't have a window in this room, vents are also very modern and in style at the moment. They also take up very little space.
Remember that you want fresh air flowing throughout your home at all times of the day, even in winter!
If you have an alarm system, a carbon monoxide detector can be one of the elements that you add to its functionality. Such sensors are very effective, working in a variety of different temperatures. They are also very reliable, thanks to the technology used.
If certain limits in the air are exceeded, the carbon monoxide alarm will instantly go off thanks to its sensors. This will alert you and your family to any unsafe gas levels in your home.
Remember, however, that a carbon monoxide alarm won't necessarily guarantee safety.
Perform regular technical inspections as well as regular maintenance and cleaning of your chimney and other heat sources as well as your ventilation sources. There are many professionals available who can help you to take care of this too, if you don't have the time.
Any malfunctioning devices should be handled by a professional. Don't let your home undergo any unauthorized repairs, especially when it comes to the chimney whether it's a wood or coal source of heat.
You should double check these sources at least once every three months and if you use natural gas or oil for fuel, a minimum of once every six months. Ventilation sources should be checked at least once a year.
Also pay particular attention to the efficiency of gas stoves and heaters.
The lighter symptoms that you may experience first are headaches, vertigo, nausea and vomiting as well as numbness and muscle weakness. You may also experience general weakness, palpitations and chest pain.
More serious symptoms include apathy, drowsiness, loss of control and loss of consciousness.
Never underestimate these symptoms. In the event that you feel something is wrong, immediately open up all of the windows and doors and leave the house. Call an emergency number such as the fire department to report your suspicions. If anyone else is in the house, try to get them out of the house and loosen their clothes to cool down the body. If someone is unconscious, use resuscitation methods to treat them until medical help arrives.
Safety is very important when it comes to your home! Don't let your living space become a hazard.
Also have a look at these 10 habits to keep your home clean and tidy, ensuring that it always remains well-maintained and hygienic.