Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas. It is undetectable by human means and can be deadly. Follow these carbon monoxide home safety tips to protect yourself and your family.
Carbon monoxide is produced by a number of common household sources, including wood or gas fireplaces, gas or oil furnaces, wood stoves, gas appliances, a clogged chimney or improper venting in a garage.
Today's energy-efficient, airtight homes contribute to the problem by decreasing the exchange of inside and outside air. The danger of carbon monoxide poisoning increases in the evenings when the house is closed and you are asleep.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning mimic those of the flu, so you might not realize you are being poisoned until damage has already been done.
Installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home will alert you to dangerous levels of the poisonous gas. When choosing a carbon monoxide detector, look for a model that records the levels of the gas in the air because this information can help determine the source of the problem.
Like smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors can be battery-operated or hard-wired into your home. A battery-operated detector or a plug-in detector with battery backup helps ensure that the unit works even in the case of a power outage. Various models come with test buttons, silence buttons, visual indicators, and features to let you know when the battery needs to be replaced. Some models also have an "end of life" warning feature to let you know when the unit itself needs to be replaced.
Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when installing carbon monoxide detectors. Place detectors near each sleeping area. Do not place them directly above a fuel-burning appliance.
Local codes may specify requirements for carbon monoxide detectors and their placement. Make sure you're familiar with local codes.
Installing carbon monoxide detectors is a vital step to limiting your exposure to carbon monoxide. But you should also do all you can to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in the first place. You can do this by keeping all your utilities and appliances appropriately maintained and serviced.
Again, wood or gas fireplaces, gas or oil furnaces, wood stoves, gas appliances, chimneys, and improperly vented garages are all sources of carbon monoxide in the home. Have these utilities and appliances inspected, cleaned, and serviced regularly.
The experts at Lowe's have all the home safety and home security information to protect you and your family from common household injuries and accidents. Check out other helpful safety tips from Lowes.com.