If you use fossil fuels for any purpose in your home, be it to keep your residence warm during the cooler time of the year or to fuel for oven, water heater, or other appliances, you need to be aware of the risk that carbon monoxide poses to you. If you ever hear your carbon monoxide detector going off, you need to vacate your home and alert the appropriate authorities immediately. Don’t bet on it being a false alarm. Carbon monoxide exposure is serious business and, as you’ll learn in the following post, you simply cannot hope to detect its presence on your own.
Why Is Carbon Monoxide So Difficult to Detect, and What Are the Symptoms of Exposure?
Carbon monoxide is not something to only worry about in the winter months. Using natural gas or propane to fuel any appliance means that CO exposure is entirely possible in your home. Why are we so adamant in insisting that you have dependable CO detectors in your home?
The answer is actually quite simple. Carbon monoxide is, due to its physical properties, more or less impossible for humans to detect—at least, before the symptoms set in. Carbon monoxide has no odor, so you cannot smell a leak. You also cannot see it, as there is no color to carbon monoxide. Chances are that, if you don’t have a CO detector in place, your first sign of CO exposure is going to be the physical symptoms that you are already suffering. You really don’t want to let it come to that.
Carbon monoxide exposure can result in flu-like symptoms, minus the fever. Nausea and dizziness are common early symptoms. The longer that you are exposed, though, the worse the symptoms will become. You may feel confused and disoriented, or short of breath. Eventually, unconsciousness can set in. Ultimately, exposure can prove fatal. You must protect yourself with a good carbon monoxide detector in your home.