Carbon Monoxide: What You Should Know
By Doug Hetsch
March 15, 2019
Carbon monoxide (CO) is commonly known as the “silent killer”. This highly poisonous gas is tasteless, odorless, and colorless. Since CO is basically invisible, it is impossible to know if you are breathing it in or not. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 400 Americans deaths from CO poisoning every year. Additionally, it is also responsible for more than 20,000 emergency room visits and more than 4,000 hospitalizations.
Because this gas is produced every time fuel is burned, your fireplace is one of the sources of CO in your home. To avoid this serious risks of CO poisoning, you should follow a few practices for maintaining your chimney system regularly. Since 2006, All American Chimney Service has been providing superior professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation services to the Louisville area. We place a high priority on the safety of our customers, which is why we would like to answer a couple of questions about CO poisoning to help you stay safe.
How do I know if I have CO poisoning?
CO is so deadly because it is impossible to know when this invisible gas is present in the air you are breathing. Another reason is the difficulty of diagnosing this illness since its symptoms are identical to the flu and common cold symptoms. If you are suffering from these symptoms for more than two weeks, you may want to ask your doctor to test your blood for CO poisoning. Prolonged breathing of CO can lead to organ failure and death.
What can I do to prevent CO poisoning in my home?
When your chimney and fireplace system is not working properly, there is an increased risk for the overproduction of this toxic gas. You could also have damaged components in your chimney such as the liner, which is allowing CO to leak into your living spaces. This is why national fire safety organizations recommend that homeowners have their chimneys professionally swept and inspected every year.
Our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweeps will take great care of your chimney. We will thoroughly clean and inspect every area of your system to ensure it’s safe and efficient. Another important recommendation that we highly suggest to help avoid CO poisoning in your home is to install CO detector alarms. These alarms will notify you if there are high levels of this toxic gas in your home. Be sure to install these on every level of your house and outside each bedroom.
Following a regular professional chimney maintenance routine can keep you and your family safe from carbon monoxide.Contact ustoday at All American Chimney Service to make an appointment for our professional chimney sweeping and inspection services!