Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, you should be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide poisoning is no joke and could leave you seriously ill or worse. 


What is carbon monoxide, and more importantly – what can you do about it? Well, the first thing is to become educated and informed on it. In this article, we’re going to go through all of the major information points around carbon monoxide safety in the home and how you can avoid a worst-case scenario.


Sources of carbon monoxide 


Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colorless gas that is let off from the use of engines, fuel sources, fires, and more. Usually, these appliances and sources are safe – when they are carefully, correctly installed, and vented. 


However, what causes carbon monoxide in homes to build up is when such appliances and items start malfunctioning.


However, even with the safest installation, errors can occur which can cause dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide to build up in your home, causing carbon monoxide poisoning. 



Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning 


If you don’t have a correctly installed carbon monoxide monitor, you may have to rely on the signs and health-related symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning to let you know you have a problem. The early onset of symptoms is described as being similar to those of a cold or the flu.


The symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Excessive tiredness, or fatigue
  • Shortness of breath


When exposure happens for a prolonged period of time, or especially with high levels of gas present in the air, additional symptoms may manifest.


These include:

  • Loss of muscular coordination
  • Mental fog, inability to think clearly
  • Vomiting
  • Passing out, or losing consciousness
  • Eventual death


To avoid having to rely on symptoms of illness to keep you and your family safe, you should instead ensure that you have a properly working and well-installed carbon monoxide detector, or alarm.


Carbon Monoxide detector do’s and don’ts 


Do:
 Place your detector in the highest part of your ceiling that it can be installed – gas is lighter than air, so the higher you place the alarm, the sooner you will be aware that there is a problem.


Don’t: 
Place in direct sunlight – your detector is like any other sensitive electrical equipment. You want to keep it at a steady temperature and install it in a relatively cool, clean part of your ceiling. This means keeping your alarm away from gas-burning appliances such as fake fires and stove burners as well.


Do: 
Place detectors near your bedroom – it’s especially important that you don’t spend the night sleeping in a carbon monoxide-rich environment. This is where the real damage can be done, as you’re not conscious of being able to detect the signs of poisoning.


Don’t:
 Stop at just one alarm. Make sure you have a sufficient amount of alarms for the amount of space you have in your home.


Do: 
Vacate the house and call health services if you suspect poisoning – up to 50,000 people suffer from the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning in the US each year. So don’t make the mistake of thinking it is uncommon and that it could not happen to you!


Don’t: 
Ignore the signs. It’s better to be overcautious than to end up sick – or worse.


Checking the batteries of carbon monoxide detectors


It’s especially important that you check to make sure you have sufficient battery in all of your carbon monoxide detectors. Do this manually every six months, so that you can rest assured that you’re safe.


At Canadian Wire Wizards, we can help you with the proper installation of not only carbon monoxide detectors, but entire systems of detection – along with any other electrical contracting work that you might need!


Don’t hesitate, call us now at (416) 755-2700, or contact us through the form on our website, and someone will quickly get back to you.

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