How to Stay Safe From Carbon Monoxide: In Any Season
Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is toxic enough to be lethal. It is emitted by products we use everyday, such as cars, grills, and furnaces. While the idea of an undetectable, toxic, and commonly used gas can certainly be unsettling, there are many ways to keep yourself from being exposed to harmful levels of carbon monoxide.
The first preventative measure against carbon monoxide is installing a detector. A good carbon monoxide detector will cost about 20-30 dollars, and is required by law in some states. These alarms alert homeowners if carbon monoxide levels become unusually high, allowing homeowners to assess the situation before carbon monoxide reaches a dangerous concentration in the home.
And while carbon monoxide detectors are helpful for detecting the presence of carbon monoxide, there are additional ways to ensure your safety that no carbon monoxide is present in the first place.
• The Environmental Protection Agency suggests making sure that all gas appliances are properly adjusted and serviced regularly. This will help ensure that they are not putting out more carbon monoxide than necessary.
• Keep your house well ventilated, as carbon monoxide can build up if it has nowhere to go.
• If you park your car in an enclosed garage, try not to idle your car for too long.
• For homes with gas-powered fireplaces, make sure the flue is open and there are no blockages in your chimney.
In the event that these safety measures are not enough and you cannot locate the source of a carbon monoxide leak, leave your home and call your local fire department for assistance immediately. Trying to solve the problem yourself is dangerous if you are not properly trained.
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