Carbon Monoxide Safety Awareness

About Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas produced by incomplete combustion. CO can be produced by a number of things, including an automobile, a faulty furnace, or a faulty water heater.

Carbon monoxide attaches itself to the red blood cells while displacing the oxygen that is normally carried by these cells. This depletes the amounts of oxygen being delivered to the body's vital organs. CO builds in the body cumulatively over time. Therefore, a small dose over a long period of time can be just as dangerous as a large dose over a short period of time.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

A carbon monoxide detector can alert you and your family to this otherwise undetectable lethal gas. Signs and symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, fatigue, and drowsiness. These are all the same type of signs and symptoms of a typical cold. You may go to bed to relieve this cold, not realizing that you have been poisoned by CO. A CO detector could save your life.

If your carbon monoxide detector emits an alarm, do not panic. Complete a check of yourself and your family to make sure everyone is fine. Find out if anyone is feeling ill (dizzy, lightheaded, headache, fatigue, etc.). If someone is not feeling normal, evacuate the house and call 911. The Fire Department ambulance will be dispatched with medical equipment to treat your symptoms and CO monitoring devices to survey your residence.

If everyone is normal and there are no complaints of sickness, investigate the matter further. Start with the detector, make sure it is operating properly and check the battery. Next, check anything that produces heat. Make sure these items are in proper working order, vented properly, and clean. You should contact Consumers Energy or a licensed contractor to detect and fix the problem.