Carbon monoxide (CO) cannot be detected by human senses. It is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas, and is sometimes referred to as a “silent killer.” In fact, it is the leading cause of unintentional poisoning deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is a hazard that should not be ignored at any time of the year, and the summer is no exception.
CO is released from combustible materials as they burn, and from gas and propane powered tools and vehicles. Being outside doesn’t automatically protect you from CO dangers. One of the biggest summer CO dangers is boating, especially because CO poisoning on boats can cause you to pass out.
Boaters and their passengers should be mindful of the exhaust area at the back of the boat and should not sit or swim near that area. Also be aware of exhaust from neighboring boats when you are parked near them.
Camping is another popular summer activity, and to keep your family safe, it is important to not sit too close to a campfire, or use gas or propane stoves inside a tent where they are not properly ventilated.
Common sources of CO at home include fuel-burning appliances and devices such as clothes dryers, water heaters, furnaces, fireplaces, gas stoves/ovens, barbecue grills, lawn equipment and motor vehicles.
Get your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil or coal-burning appliances checked by a qualified technician every year.
The summer months are known for various types of severe weather, including tornadoes and hurricanes, which can both cause power outages and states of emergency. Sometimes during crisis situations, it’s easy to panic and forget basic safety guidelines, especially around the use of backup generators.
Gas-powered generators can cause CO to build up in a home, so it is important to use them outside at least 20 feet away from doors, windows and vents.
Only 36% to 46% of U.S. households have a CO alarm installed, according to the CDC. At a minimum, every home should have a battery-operated CO detector, but a professionally monitored system gives you an extra sense of security. Having a monitored CO detector like Resideo’s SiXCOMBO can increase safety by ensuring that first responders can arrive quickly, which can be lifesaving. The SiXCOMBO functions as a monitored smoke alarm, too.
Resideo customer, B Safe Security, has been installing security and life-safety solutions to protect homes in Delaware for more than 40 years.
“When a CO leak occurs, symptoms like aches and pain can often be attributed to something else like the flu. The confusion from CO poisoning can lead to questionable judgments that endanger those exposed,” said Anthony Paparo, marketing manager at B Safe Security. “Monitored CO detectors solve this problem. In addition to the alarm sounding in the home, when CO is detected the monitoring center will call and a trained operator will walk through a set of questions to test the exposure levels of monoxide and will send for immediate help.”
Ready to improve your CO poisoning prevention? Contact a local Resideo pro today to get started with a professionally monitored system, like the SiXCOMBO. For more information and tips on how to help keep your family safe this summer, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.