The CNN has branded CO â€œwinterâ€™s silent killerâ€ as virtually all households use more gas for longer periods during the cold season and are thus more exposed to the risk of inhaling and being poisoned by carbon monoxide.
This is not to discourage homeowners like you from using your gas pipelines to heat your residence. Itâ€™s to warn you to be vigilant about certain risks that may affect your health significantly.
Take the case of Tyler and Chase Robinson, 6 and 8 years old respectively. In May 2010, the boys from Shepparton woke in the middle of the night and went to their motherâ€™s room to sleep at her side. When Vanessa Robinson, the boysâ€™ mother, woke up the next afternoon, she noticed something odd about her sons. Aside from that, she felt severe pain in her arm.
When the paramedics came, they found that the boys had passed away. Their autopsy report revealed that the cause of their death was carbon monoxide poisoning. It was also discovered that a faulty wall heater was the source of the leak. Mrs. Robinson herself is left with a numb arm, a consequence of nerve damage brought about by CO poisoning.
Mrs. Robinson and her sons were living in a rented flat. Recently, her landlord admitted that the heater in the rented property â€œhas not been serviced for more than 4 years.â€
The carbon monoxide is dangerous because, according to Dr. Howard Frumkin of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, â€œit binds with the red blood cells in our bodies and prevents them from carrying oxygen.â€ This can then lead to asphyxiation, which is similar to choking due to lack of air.
Mrs. Robinson did not know about the consequences of being exposed to carbon monoxide. As such, she has now established a foundation that aims to educate everyone about the dangers of CO exposure.
Is your home carbon monoxide free? Although it cannot be guaranteed that there is a zero level of CO is in the air you breathe, the substance should be within the safe level of 10 parts per million. So, how can you keep carbon monoxide from rising to fatal levels?
Replacing CO-Emitting Appliances
Do you have gas or petrol-powered equipment? Consider exchanging them with electric types. This is because carbon monoxide is produced â€œwhen fossil fuels burn without a good supply of air,â€ according to The Telegraph. It would then be logical to opt for devices that do not use fuel to run. However, if you must use the fuel-powered ones, opt for those that can be used with LNG, LPG, or diesel as these devices produce less CO. Just make sure the area where you work with these devices is well-ventilated.
Doing Preventive Maintenance Checks
Have your gas lines and heating system serviced on a regular basis. This is so that there will not be a build-up of soot, which promotes the leakage or exposure to CO. Have a qualified technician perform inspections and other maintenance services for you.
Aside from CCTVs and other security systems, you should have a carbon monoxide detector in your own home and make sure that this is functional and regularly replaced with new batteries. Write a reminder on a small, bright-coloured piece of paper and place it on your dresser or refrigerator door so you donâ€™t forget this important activity.
You should also install a home alarm system that also helps detect smoke and intruders within your residential property to make your house Â a safer place to reside for you and your family. Talk to Eversafe Australia at (03) 900 10 900 today and ask about the FREE Security Assessment service they provide.