How to avoid carbon monoxide hazards

Carbon monoxide is known by many as the silent killer. It is a highly toxic gas that can kill you in minutes. Having excessive amounts of carbon monoxide in your house is a health hazard. There are many carbon monoxide hazards which can be avoided when you have the right knowledge on how to deal with it.

The first step to dealing with carbon monoxide is identifying its source. There are many areas in your home that this gas can be emitted from and it is important that you keep checking in this areas. They include:

  1. Wood and gas stoves
  2. Generators
  3. Motor vehicles
  4. Gas and wood fireplaces
  5. Water heaters and dryers

Once you have identified the areas that the gas could potentially stem from then you ensure that you take the necessary precautions to keep the gas away from filling up your house. You can do this by:

  • Ensuring your house has enough ventilation

Carbon monoxide fills your house when it has no ventilation to get out. When you have sufficient windows, doors and ventilation systems in your home, you can simply open them to let out the gas and let in oxygen.

  • Only run generators outside

Many people ignore this warning and run their generators in closed spaces like garages and basements. It is important to understand that garages and basements do not have windows. Operating the machines outside ensures that there is sufficient airflow and all the carbon monoxide is blown away.

  • Do not use ovens or gas stoves for warmth

Running your oven or gas stove to warm the house is a sure way of welcoming carbon monoxide into your home. The same case applies to charcoal or barbecue grills, if you use them indoors, you allow for the buildup of the silent killer.

  • Do not run any engines in closed spaces

You may have a garage but it should not be used to run engines. Whether it is a mower, generator, car, truck or any other motor, do not run it unless it is outside. This should especially apply to homes whose garage and main house are attached.

Carbon monoxide can kill you in a matter of minutes, but you can also save yourself through these easy steps:

  1. Open all windows and doors to enable the circulation of air.
  2. Call for help from the fire department or a gas company
  3. Leave the room and go outside for fresh air

The most important thing that you can do is have carbon monoxide detectors installed in the home, where they can easily be heard if you are sleeping. Too many lives are lost each year because carbon monoxide detectors aren’t installed.


Author: Steven Miller

I am a home inspector in Jamestown, Tennessee.

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