Most of us do all we can to keep our families safe in and out of the home. One big risk for families is carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. In large quantities, carbon monoxide can cause illness or death if not detected and remedied. Young children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable, and CO poisoning symptoms include headaches, nausea, dizziness and other flu-like symptoms.
"The problem with CO is that you can't see it, smell it or taste it, but the good news is that you can take easy steps to keep your home and loved ones safe," says Justin Carrol, president of Perfect Home Services.
With that in mind, Carrol recommends families do the following to minimize their CO exposure risk:
Check CO detectors' batteries every month. Detectors typically come with a test button to make sure the batteries are still working. It's also a good idea to replace the units every five years.
Make sure heating units are well-maintained. Seasonal tune-ups performed twice a year allow service experts to look for potential problems. They will make sure that vents, flues and chimneys are cleaned and getting proper airflow.
Practice proper ventilation. Make sure any fuel-burning appliances are in well-ventilated spaces and never in enclosed areas. Never start your car without opening your garage door first.
Don't use outdoor products inside. Items such as generators and camping stoves should only be used outside. Also, avoid using solvents such as paint and varnish remover indoors whenever possible, as these can release a chemical that can break down into carbon monoxide when inhaled.
Source: Perfect Home Services.
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