Carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas from various sources, including furnaces, heaters, and vehicles. CO poisoning is a severe and sometimes fatal health concern that may go unnoticed until it’s too late. Although it’s challenging to detect, you can protect your family by reducing the risk of CO exposure in several ways. Let’s discuss the dangers of carbon monoxide in your home and how to keep your family safe.

Things to Know about Carbon Monoxide in the Home

1. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Your Home

Invest in carbon monoxide detectors and place them near bedrooms and potential sources of CO. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation, and change the batteries twice a year. Replace the device itself every five to seven years.

2. Regular Maintenance of Appliances

Fuel-burning appliances like furnaces, water heaters, and fireplaces require regular maintenance by an HVAC professional. Over time, your household machines can develop cracks or damage in the heat exchanger, allowing CO to escape into the home. Take care of regular upkeep and schedule annual inspections.

3. Proper Ventilation to Reduce Carbon Monoxide in the Home

Whether it’s a gas stove or a generator, always ensure proper ventilation when using fuel-burning items. Don’t use a grill inside the home or in enclosed spaces, like a covered porch. Make sure clothes dryers and exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens vent outside your home instead of circulating air indoors.

4. Be Mindful of Enclosed Spaces

Don’t idle the car inside a garage, even if the door is open. Check your car’s exhaust system regularly to ensure it’s not leaking. Never use a generator inside an enclosed space, including a garage or basement, even if the doors or windows are open. If you have a generator installed outside, make sure it is not near a door or window.

5. Educate Yourself and Your Family

Understand the dangers of carbon monoxide and how to detect its presence. Talk to your family members to verify everyone is aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning. Signs and symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and confusion. If anyone experiences these symptoms, leave the house immediately and call 911.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a threat to your family’s safety. With the installation of CO detectors and regular maintenance, you can reduce your household’s risk of exposure to this dangerous gas. Use proper ventilation, understand the symptoms, and educate your family about the dangers of CO poisoning. Take precautions to keep your loved ones out of harm’s way.

Reliable Real Estate Inspections offers home inspection services in Hilton Head and the surrounding areas. Contact us to schedule an appointment.