How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Your Home

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACarbon monoxide poisoning can be very dangerous, and it generally stems from appliances that burn any type of fuel being left on for too long. This creates a toxic build-up of the gas in the air, and if you breathe too much of it in, it can cause you to fall unconscious or even die. Unfortunately, thousands of people across the world die from this poisoning every year; they likely suffered from symptoms like headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness and confusion before finally succumbing. However, it is preventable if you remain aware of the symptoms and different ways of stopping carbon monoxide from spreading before it becomes a problem.

Paint Remover
Using paint remover that contains methylene chloride can be very dangerous, as that chemical can transform into carbon monoxide once inside the body. Especially when around children, avoid using this product if at all possible. If you have no other choice, make sure to use a minimal amount of the paint remover, and only in short intervals.

Check Central Heating Systems

Central heating systems, especially ones using furnaces, can get clogged up with lint or other residual debris. This can make it so that dangerous gases like carbon monoxide do not have a way of escaping, and instead linger in your house. Another possibility is that your appliance could have a leak somewhere, letting out too much CO. To prevent this, experts at East Side Ventilation Ltd. suggest that you have a certified professional inspect, clean and otherwise repair your machine in order to keep it safe and in top functionality. This not only includes vents, but chimneys as well.


While your fireplace is in use, it is important to remember that your fire-damper should always be open. Otherwise, the carbon monoxide does not have a chance to escape, not to mention other dangerous gases like smoke. If you allow these things to build up not only can it potentially put you at more risk for a house fire, but it can also affect your health along with your family’s health as well.


As it can be an extreme safety hazard, never use portable heating generators inside your residence. Even with fans around or with the doors and windows open, the machine can still burn enough fuel to cause an excess of carbon dioxide in the air. To keep this from becoming an issue, remember to always leave your generator outside of your home.


Inhaling too much carbon monoxide can be lethal because the gas eventually replaces the oxygen in your blood. To stop this from happening, avoid using paint remover with methylene chloride, regularly check on central heating systems, keep generators outside and open the fire-dampers when burning fires in your fireplace. Also, take the precaution of having carbon monoxide detectors in your home. They will go off if there is too much build up. Bottom line, protect yourself and your family from carbon monoxide poisoning.


Erin Emanuel