Carbon monoxide, also referred to as CO, is commonly nicknamed the “silent killer.” Each year, CO causes an average of 430 accidental deaths and 50,000 emergency room visits. When considering home safety, CO detection should be top of mind. Knowing common sources of this substance, the symptoms associated with carbon monoxide poisoning, and what to do if a CO alarm sounds could save the lives of the ones you love most.
Where are common sources of carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas created when a fuel source burns. Common sources of CO include furnaces, water heaters, non-electric space heaters, gas stoves, gas fireplaces, generators, lawn mowers, cars, and boats. When these sources are not properly vented, CO can accumulate within a home or other enclosed area, such as a garage or pole barn.
Safety when using fuel-burners:
- Never leave a car running in a closed garage
- Never use a generator indoors
- Do not power on lawn mowers or power washers in closed sheds/barns
- In the event of a power outage, never use a gas stove or oven to heat your home
- Ensure your furnace and fireplaces are up to code before the colder months
How will I know if there is CO in my home?
Without functioning carbon monoxide detectors, you may not recognize the presence of CO until it is too late. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas—hence the nickname, “silent killer.” This characteristic is what makes it most dangerous. Individuals may be exposed to CO for extended periods of time without knowing. For this reason, proper CO detection is critical in every home.
What does carbon monoxide do to the body?
When exposed to CO, the body begins to replace the oxygen in the bloodstream with this substance. Being exposed to CO may result in headaches, dizziness, fainting, nausea, tightness in the chest, confusion, and in severe cases, seizures. A person with CO poisoning may lose consciousness, preventing them from escaping continued exposure.
If you suspect that yourself or a loved one has been exposed to CO, get outside immediately for fresh air, then call 911, or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
The effects of carbon monoxide can be sudden, so doing nothing means risking death.
How can I safeguard my home against the silent killer?
In the state of Michigan, all new homes are required to have CO detection installed outside of each bedroom, within ten feet of the door. One CO detector must also be installed on each floor. As this requirement is a more recent update to state code, however, many dated homes may not have CO detection that meets safety standards. If this sounds like your residence, EPS Security can help you assess the property for necessary security updates.
At EPS Security, we engineer customized security solutions to meet your safety needs. Our monitored, comprehensive, home alarm systems can provide you with protection and peace of mind. A monitored alarm system is a series of devices that send signals to a designated monitoring center upon activation. With monitored devices in your home, a triggered smoke or CO detector will notify seasoned dispatchers to send your local fire department, immediately. Then, operators will call you directly to further assess your safety. Monitored CO protection in your home means you never have to sit with uncertainty.
What should I do if a CO detector sounds?
If a carbon monoxide detector sounds in your home, it should be taken seriously. Even if those inside the home are not experiencing symptoms, residents should contact their local fire department for further investigation. Again, it is very possible that CO is present in the home without your knowledge, and its impact can be sudden. If your alarm system is monitored, dispatch will be sent automatically. Move outdoors until emergency responders arrive to protect yourself and family members from further exposure.
The EPS advantage
At EPS Security, we take protecting your people, places, and things, personally. For more than 65 years, we have engineered, installed, serviced, and monitored alarm systems all throughout the state of Michigan. When it comes to meeting state code and our customers’ needs, we are well versed. From carbon monoxide and fire detection, to intrusion alarm monitoring, our team of highly-trained experts is prepared to meet your unique security needs.