So I want to talk about something that I don’t usually but it just seems so important I feel compelled to do it.
As some of you know I have a varied background but one thing that has been consistent is doing some form of work in heating and cooling. Being exposed to that world you learn a lot about carbon monoxide and it’s potential deadly effect. Recently it’s been in the news that carbon monoxide poisoning has claimed the lives of multiple people and most recently a marine and a mom and dad and their two children. News like this is so heartbreaking and yet what makes it all the more sad is it was preventable.
I was recently talking to a friend who is a plumber and we got on this subject of carbon monoxide poisoning and how the real cause is just lack of education of the public. We as the American people and as individuals just don’t know how dangerous it is. You can’t see it or smell it and the symptoms can easily look like a flu. It’s understandable that we don’t know what to do about it.
That’s the problem.
So here’s what I hope will be the solution. Let’s educate ourselves about the dangers and then what we can do to protect ourselves and our families.
The first thing we can do is have our gas burning appliances checked to make sure they are safe and not leaking carbon monoxide into our homes. This includes furnaces, hot water heaters, fireplaces, etc. After we’ve insured that we don’t have any carbon monoxide leaks, the next step is to make sure we have carbon monoxide detectors installed in our home. You can do it yourself or what’s even better is having a hvac or plumbing technician who has been trained install your carbon monoxide detection system.
If you go the route of do it yourself (DIY) then here are some things to look for; first make sure you have a low level detector or detectors. Some cheaper versions don’t start detecting until the levels are dangerously high. You want a detector that starts detecting around 70 parts per million (ppm)
The next thing to consider is placement. You want them close to the bedrooms. If you have a split floor plan you want to account for bedrooms on opposite sides of the home. If you have a multi level home you want at least one on each floor.
Keep these tips in mind when you go into your heating season in your local area. One more word. Please choose your hvac and plumbing company carefully. You want technicians who have been trained to look for possible failures in heat exchangers and exhaust venting. You can always find a cheaper deal. But is cheaper always the best especially when we’re talking about our families lives?
Please take the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning seriously. The life you could be saving may be your own, or even more than that the lives of your loved ones.
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