You don’t have to wait until its winter to be at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning although the use of some heaters indoors does increase the risk at that time of the year.
During the warmer months, you are probably much more likely to have windows and doors open, with increased ventilation so might not know there is a problem. Perhaps as it gets colder, though, things get battened down more.
The gas furnace that hasn’t been serviced suddenly gets more use.
Last springs birds nest and the fall leaves or the snow may have blocked flues and chimneys.
Carbon monoxide will kill pretty efficiently at any time.
During the winter months, it’s one of the leading causes of death in the US and Europe.
Most people don’t know that it only takes a small amount of carbon monoxide to affect you seriously. As little as two parts per million can start to have a significant effect on your body’s ability to take up oxygen efficiently.
Being exposed to even small amounts either in one go or over a few days can lead to serious illness and death. At normal air pressure, it can remain and build up in your bloodstream over a few short hours, causing headaches and flu-like symptoms.
If not recognised, this will eventually lead to coma and death.
Carbon monoxide displaces the oxygen in your bloodstream by binding to the red blood cells. It stops the oxygen you need to be carried by the blood.
And unlike a lot of other gases, carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless, so it’s difficult to detect.
Now we all would like to think we’re prepared (or seriously working towards it) but being safe from things brought in to help us, isn’t something we should overlook.
Having a spare portable generator around to give us light and power is an excellent idea, but gasoline engines no matter how small, aren’t designed to run inside your house, and the BBQ isn’t designed to be used in your kitchen, no matter how cold it is outside!
Locally, we’ve had a couple of contractors killed because they wanted to keep working when the grid power went out.
They brought in a portable generator and had it running flat out to keep up with their power tool demands. Unfortunately, they were later found dead – killed by the fumes from the generator.
Generators need a lot of ventilation to function, and even a small one can put out enough CO, to put you to sleep, so you don’t wake up!
Propane gas and kerosene heaters can do the same when they are not correctly maintained or ventilated properly.
Check to make sure flues and chimneys don’t get blocked up with snow or other debris as this could lead to house heaters and boilers not working properly also.
One thing that can give you an early warning of carbon monoxide being about is a CO detector; they’re pretty cheap and along with a smoke alarm will give you some indication if this killer gas is about your place.
It’d be a pretty good idea; I reckon to have them and that you know what to do if they indicate there is a problem with carbon monoxide in your house.
They’re kind of standard in boats and caravans/trailers/mobile homes and mandatory in some US States, as well as the UK and Europe, there are plenty of different types about, and they don’t cost a lot to bring peace of mind.
If a carbon monoxide detector finds a problem, don’t waste time trying to locate the issue yourself, get out of the house and call in a professional who has the right protection and equipment to find the cause of the problem.
Here’s some more information from the Consumer Product Safety Commission
Preparing For A bad Day – A Medics Approach To First Aid Kits
Tourniquets Save Lives – Kit To Stop You Bleeding Out
Hypothermia – What It Is And What You Can Do To Prevent It.
6 Natural Remedies For Seasonal Allergies (Infographic)
Nine Home Remedies For Toothache To Help Keep The Dentist At Bay – Infographic
Wilderness Plants That Can Help Heal
The Use Of Honey In Wound Care And Burns
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