What Do You Know About Carbon Monoxide?

If you have a heating appliance that burns fuel – and if you live in Maryland and don’t use solar energy throughout your home, you do – then some amount of carbon monoxide (“CO”) is produced inside your home.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless gas produced by burning fuel, including heating oil, gasoline, coal, wood, charcoal, kerosene, propane, or natural gas. With properly functioning equipment, burning fuel inside your home is perfectly safe because CO vents outside your home before it can accumulate.

But as it builds up, CO can become a dangerous or even deadly threat if you don’t take proper precautions.  Here’s what you need to know about CO in your home:

  1. CO buildup usually occurs for two reasons: poor ventilation or damaged / improperly maintained heating equipment.
  2. If exposure to CO is acute enough, CO poisoning can occur. Symptoms of CO poisoning vary depend on the amount of exposure to the gas.
  • In mild cases, symptoms include nausea, fatigue, headaches and dizziness
  • In moderate cases, symptoms include severe headaches, drowsiness, and disorientation
  • In extreme cases, symptoms include unconsciousness, convulsions, and in rare cases, death.
  1. If you experience CO poisoning symptoms,
  • Get fresh air immediately; open windows and leave the house.
  • Call 911
  • Report your symptoms to your doctor
  • Service faulty fuel-burning appliances before using them again
  1. If your CO detector alarm sounds,
  • Leave the house
  • Call 911
  • DO NOT reenter the premises until getting the OK from the fire department
  • Service faulty fuel-burning appliances before using them again

To prevent problems with CO in your home,

  • Learn and teach your family how to spot and deal with CO poisoning symptoms
  • Get your fuel-burning appliances ­serviced every year
  • Install CO detectors at every level of your home
  • Repair poorly functioning fuel-burning appliances immediately
  • Consider upgrading older equipment to avoid CO problems

Nothing is more important than keeping our QDog customers safe!  If you have any questions or concerns about CO in your home, contact us immediately – we’re happy to help.