Carbon Monoxide Facts:
CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING
What is Carbon Monoxide?
- Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless, toxic gas.
- It is produced by incomplete combustion of fuels. This would include natural gas, propane gas, oil, gasoline, diesel, wood, fuels and the running of automobiles and smoking cigarettes.
- Carbon Monoxide reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen by reacting with oxygen carrying portion of the blood. Due to its nature of rapidly displaces oxygen in the blood stream.
- The effects of Carbon Monoxide are dependent on both Carbon Monoxide concentration and length of exposure.
- Carbon Monoxide is undetectable by humans.
- Low levels of exposure can be hazardous to children, infants, the unborn, elderly, and those with heart and lung disease.
- A mild exposure can cause nausea, headache, and symptoms can often be mistaken for common illness such as the flu or cold.
- A medium exposure can cause severe headache, drowsiness, confusion, fast heart rate, increased respirations and cherry red lips.
- An extreme exposure can cause unconsciousness, convulsions, cardiorespiratory failure, and death.
- Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be caused by improper installation, use, and operation of fuel combustion devices.
- Some combustion devices require a vent. Proper size and operation is needed for safe application.
- Fresh or make up air is needed for complete combustion.
- Furnace connections to chimneys that have rust, corrosion, gaps, holes or obstructions.
- Furnace filters obstructed with dirt or other blockages. Outside venting systems with cracks, corrosion, holes, debris or other blockages.
- Fire places with closed, blocked, or bent flues, soot or other debris or animal nests.
- Running automobiles in side of garages even with the doors open.
- Use of UN-vented kerosene heaters. They are not only illegal but dangerous.
- Fresh make up air not provided when using any fuel burning appliance or heater.
- Use of liquid fuel construction heaters.
- Cooking on UN-vented stoves. Down drafts in chimneys.
- Entry doors and other openings to attached garages.
- Use of barbecue grills indoors.
- Clothes dryer vents with blockage of lint build up.
- Are required in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in all places of
- habitation where fossil fuels are burned.
- They must be placed outside of and within ten feet of any bedroom door
- They may be battery operated or plug-in, but plug-in detectors must have a battery back-up feature.
- The batteries should be changed each Spring and Fall when you change your clocks, same as your smoke detector batteries.