Without proper protection carbon monoxide can kill you before you have a chance to react. Known as the silent killer, carbon monoxide can easily happen in your Colorado home. It is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas. Carbon monoxide is produced when fossil fuels burn incompletely.
Some fossil fuels in your home which can cause carbon monoxide include gasoline, wood, coal, propane, oil and methane. Heating and cooking equipment are the most likely sources of carbon monoxide gases. Dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can also be produced by vehicle running in an attached garage. However, there is a way to protect you're self against carbon monoxide poisoning.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Exposure
If carbon monoxide builds up in your home you will experience symptoms that you may not associate with carbon monoxide poisoning. Some common symptoms you may experience include confusion, blurred vision, fatigue, light headedness, vomiting, nausea, headaches and then unconsciousness followed by death. Children, elderly individuals, pregnant women and those with respiratory issues are even more sensitive to carbon monoxide so they will be affected quicker than healthy individuals.
How to Protect Yourself
The best way to get early warning against carbon monoxide exposure is with a properly working carbon monoxide detector. This can alert you to a buildup of gas before the level become lethal. This is especially important since you wouldn't even be aware of the gas when you are sleeping without the alarm alerting you. Within just a few minutes levels can become lethal and advanced warning is the only way to ensure you can get out alive.
Why Get a Carbon Monoxide Detector?
Carbon monoxide can be released into your home in a variety of ways. If you aren't killed by the gases you can still experience damage to your lungs. Some items in your home that can cause carbon monoxide poisoning include fireplaces, heaters, hot water heaters, gas stoves, ovens, automobiles, grills, dryers and even nearby traffic. This is why it is important to have a carbon monoxide detector since you never know when any of your common household appliances is emitting toxic levels of carbon monoxide.
Types of Carbon Monoxide Detectors
First there is metal oxide semi-conductor or MOS carbon monoxide detectors. The MOS detector uses heated tin oxide. This heated oxide will react when CO is present and an alarm will sound to alert you. Then there are bio-mimetic carbon monoxide detectors which rely on a chemical reaction to the CO that causes an electrical current and an alarm sounds to alert you. Finally there are electrochemical carbon monoxide detectors which also use a chemical reaction similar to bio-mimetic detectors to sound an alarm.