It’s that time of the year when what’s in your home could be life threatening. The weather is getting cooler and the furnace is kicking on. How safe is your house?
If you don’t have a carbon monoxide (CO) detector or two, you aren’t ready to turn on the furnace. CO is the silent killer that kills 200 to 700 people a year, depending on which study you read. Sometimes a death is ruled that it is due to the flu when in fact it was CO poisoning. Their symptoms can be similar. Since CO is odorless, tasteless and invisible it may not be detected easily.
Where do you put CO detectors? One on each level of the house is needed. The Consumer Product Safety Commission advises you to install the CO detector in the area where you sleep so you will hear the alarm and wake up. Place the detector high on the wall since CO will rise with the warm air. When you hear the detector’s alarm, leave the house immediately and call 911.
Replace batteries in your detectors when changing the clocks each spring and fall. More to the point; maintain fuel-burning appliances. This includes heating systems, water heaters, and any other gas-, oil-, or coal-burning appliances.
I know I forget about CO poisoning and its dangers because I can go months or even a few years and not hear about CO taking its toll. Then, one morning I read the newspaper and learn an entire family has been wiped out by carbon monoxide poisoning. The threat becomes real again.
Keep CO poisoning on your radar. It‘s invisible, but mighty.