How does carbon monoxide poisoning happen? When you breathe in carbon monoxide, your lungs like it more than oxygen, and so normal oxygen has more difficulty entering your bloodstream. Carbon monoxide is a gas produced by burning any type of fuel-gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal. What makes this gas so dangerous is that you can’t smell, see, or taste it. If you breathe too much carbon monoxide, it can be lethal if not detected quickly enough. This is why you need to be able to recognize the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as the causes. You can protect your home by investing in a good carbon monoxide detector, like Nest Protect!
What Does Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Look Like?
The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. These symptoms are often described as “flu-like”. If exposure goes on too long, or if the concentration of carbon monoxide is too high, it results in loss of consciousness, arrhythmias, seizures, or death. It’s one of the most common type of fatal poisoning in many countries. It’s especially dangerous if you’re sleeping, because it can kill you without you realising that you’re experiencing any of the symptoms. Which is why, as we’ll see later, it’s essential to have a CO detector in your house. While everyone is at risk for carbon monoxide, infants, the elderly, people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems, are more likely to get sick from CO poisoning.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Canadian Homes?
Carbon monoxide can come from any source that burns fuel. Common sources are cars, fireplaces, wood stoves, charcoal grills, and gas appliances such as water heaters, ovens, and dryers. While usually your appliances don’t cause problems, it can happen that if they’re not installed properly, dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can build up inside your house. Especially during the colder months, when windows and doors are usually closed. To avoid any bad, and potentially lethal, malfunction from your appliances, you should have them inspected yearly. This goes for stoves, water heaters, oil or gas heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves. Check chimneys, flues, and vents regularly to make sure everything’s in order. Finally, it’s always a good idea to invest in a carbon monoxide detector.
What to Look For When Buying a Carbon Monoxide Detector
Investing in a good CO detector can make a real difference when it comes to protecting your home. Usually, a detector will sound the alarm, but it’ll take you some time to react properly. When the alarm goes off, it’s normal to panic: is it a fire, CO, smoke from the stove, or even burned popcorn? This is where the Nest Protect really makes a difference. As soon as it detects smoke or CO, it warns you by speaking to you and telling you exactly what’s wrong. It will let you know whether it’s smoke, a fire, or carbon monoxide, as well as where in your house it’s happening. You can then react accordingly, including silencing the alarm directly from your home via an app.
Now that you know what could be causing carbon monoxide poisoning, how to recognize the symptoms, and how you could better equip your home to prevent it, you can take the necessary steps to protect your family. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the most common type of fatal poisoning in many countries and does in fact happen in many Canadian homes due to malfunctioning furnaces. Avoiding this is as easy as installing a Nest Protect in your home and have yearly check-ups of your appliances.