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Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that can cause a lot of harm or even death to you and your family if not properly monitored. Hundreds of people accidentally die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances and idle cars. Fetuses, infants, and elderly people can be especially susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning. Be safe by practicing these DOs and DON’Ts:
– DO purchase a carbon monoxide detector at your local hardware store. This device gives a warning when carbon monoxide levels are too high in your home.
– DO have your fuel-burning appliances checked by a trained professional at the beginning of every heating season. They will make sure that the flues and chimneys are in good working order and aren’t blocked by anything.
– DO choose appliances that vent their fumes to the outside whenever possible.
– DO read and follow all of the instructions that come with any fuel-burning device. Pay special attention to the cautions that come with these devices.
– DON’T idle your car in the garage, even if the outside garage door is open. Fumes can quickly build up in the garage and living area of your home.
– DON’T use a gas oven to heat your home, even for a short time.
– DON’T ever use a charcoal grill indoors – even in a fireplace.
– DON’T sleep in any room with an unvented gas or kerosene space heater.
– DON’T ignore symptoms you may be feeling. Serious injury or even death could result if you do nothing.
If you start to have severe headaches, dizziness, nausea, faint, and are short of breath, you may be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning. Try going outside of your home. If the symptoms disappear then the carbon levels in your home could be dangerously high. Immediately go to the hospital to make sure that no permanent damage has been done and have your home inspected for high levels of carbon monoxide.
Following these simple DOs and DON’Ts could save you or your family’s life.