Carbon Monoxide - The Silent Killer. Keep your home protected from the dangers of Carbon Monoxide leaks.As the leaves fall, the days become shorter, and the temperatures drop, you may be headed indoors, preparing reluctantly for partial hibernation during the upcoming months. But before you crank up the gas heater or light the wood stove, you should take a few precautionary steps to prevent a potentially deadly carbon monoxide leak in your house. Appliances dependent on certain fuels such as natural gas, oil, coal, charcoal or wood can produce carbon monoxide if they are incorrectly installed or in need of repair.
Appropriately dubbed the "silent killer," carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and very lethal gas produced by the incomplete burning of hydrocarbon fuels. Poorly vented fireplaces or wood stoves, malfunctioning gas water heaters, and gas space heaters are just some of the culprits often responsible for producing this deadly gas. Carbon monoxide leaks from fuel-burning home appliances account for over 200 deaths as well as several thousand hospitalizations per year in the United States. Symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, and dizziness. If you suspect a gas leak somewhere in your house or think you may have come into contact with carbon monoxide, you should seek fresh air and dial 911 immediately.
You can take a number of measures in order to protect your household from the hazards of carbon monoxide, including:
- Have a professional inspect and service your gas furnace annually.
- Make sure that the damper is open before using a fireplace or wood stove.
- Ensure that all gas appliances have adequate ventilation.
- Never use a gas range or oven to heat the house.
- Never leave a car running in an attached garage. CO emissions from the car can seep into the house.
In order to detect carbon monoxide leaks early, you should install a carbon monoxide detector in the hallway outside each sleeping area in your house. AIT offers a GE carbon monoxide sensor that integrates with our wireless home security system to provide early warning of dangerous carbon monoxide gas levels. Unlike stand-alone carbon monoxide alarms, the AIT carbon monoxide sensor can report an alarm to you in real-time via phone, email, and text message notifications. For central station monitoring customers, the alarm is also reported to a central station which can then dispatch emergency authorities.