Why carbon monoxide is so dangerous
Carbon monoxide (CO) is one of the most dangerous gasses that can accumulate in your home, especially in winter, as more Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning in the cold weather months than at any other time of year, according to a recent study. And because CO is colorless, odorless, and impossible to detect without a carbon monoxide alarm, it can literally kill you before you have a clue what’s happening. “Each year, more than 400 people die from accidental CO poisoning,” says Sage Singleton, a safety expert at SafeWise, a home safety company. “Because it’s a silent killer, it’s essential to safeguard your home and educate your family.” Watch for these other hidden dangers in your home and learn how to stay safe.
Stop the leaks
Any home appliance or equipment that burns natural gas, oil, coal, charcoal, propane, or wood can produce carbon monoxide, according to Richard Ciresi, a spokesperson for Aire Serv, a global HVAC company, in Louisville, Kentucky. Once a year, make it a must to have these items inspected by a professional. “Follow the guidelines on your appliances, too, and replace any units that are damaged or outdated,” suggests Sam Tadesse, president of Marina Security Services in San Francisco. These are the systems and appliances that require regular inspection.
- Water heaters
- Ovens and ranges
- Wood burning stoves
- Space heaters
- Charcoal and propane grills
- Backup generators
- Gas-powered lawn mowers
Here are some other ways your fireplace could be toxic.