Carbon Monoxide: What to Know about CO

Posted: November 9, 2018

Carbon monoxide detector

Any appliance that relies on fuel to produce energy – whether it’s powered by wood, coal, heating oil, propane, or natural gas – produces at least some carbon monoxide (CO) as it operates. In small amounts, CO is harmless – but, if it builds up in your home, it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning – a dangerous and potentially even lethal threat.

Here are the six important things to know about carbon monoxide safety – please read them carefully and share this information with everyone in your North Carolina home.

Q. What is carbon monoxide?
A. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless gas produced whenever a fuel is burned.

Q. What causes a buildup of CO?
A. CO buildup usually occurs for two reasons: poor ventilation or damaged / poorly maintained equipment.

Q. What kind of risks does carbon monoxide pose?
A. In high amounts, carbon monoxide can cause CO poisoning, which can lead to illness, unconsciousness, or even death.

Q. What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?
A. Symptoms of CO poisoning worsen as exposure to the gas increases

  • 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 potentially death

Q. What should I do if I experience CO poisoning symptoms?
A. If you or anyone in your home experiences CO poisoning symptoms:

  • Get fresh air immediately; open windows and leave the house
  • Call 911 or your local fire department
  • Report your symptoms to your doctor
  • Have your equipment inspected and serviced before using it again

Q. What should I do if the CO alarm sounds?
A. If the CO alarm sounds, presume it is working correctly and:

  • Leave the house immediately
  • Call 911 or your local fire department
  • DO NOT re-enter the premises until getting the OK from authorities
  • Have your equipment inspected and serviced before using it again

Q. How can I avoid having CO problems in my home?
A. You can avoid CO problems in your home if you:

  1. Have all fuel-burning appliances serviced ­every year
  2. Get professional repair for faulty appliances as soon as you notice a problem
  3. Upgrade appliances if they have become unsafe
  4. Install CO detectors in every level of your home, following the manufacturer’s instructions for placement, testing, and maintenance
  5. Study the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning, and teach your family what to do if they experience them

At Rand Wade Oil, your safety is always our priority! If you have any questions about carbon monoxide or propane safety, contact us today.