Carbon Monoxide the Silent Killer

Reblogger Barbara Hensley
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Properties

This can not be sent out too often...urgent to pay attention!  No one ever thinks it will happen to them.  There have been new cases of this happening across the country this year...we can not say it enough...DANGER!  I thought it timely to get Jay's message out again! 

Original content by Jay Swindle

Carbon Monoxide 

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas and is toxic to both pets and humans. Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, CO can kill you before you are aware it is in your home.  Low levels of Carbon Monoxide will cause symptoms that mimic the flu. Usually you will experience headaches, confusion, dizziness, nausea and fatigue. . According to the Center for Disease Control carbon monoxide is the most common cause of poisoning death in the United States. Unintentional CO exposure accounts for an estimated 15,000 emergency department visits and 500 unintentional deaths in the United States each year.

Sources of Carbon Monoxide

  • Unvented kerosene and gas space heaters
  • Chimney flues and Fireplaces
  • Defective furnaces
  • Oil or Kerosene heaters
  • back-drafting from furnaces
  •  gas water heaters
  •  Wood stoves
  •  gas stoves; generators and other gasoline powered equipment;
  •  automobile exhaust from attached garages

What to do if you suspect you have carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Get Fresh Air (open the windows or doors or go outside immediately)
  • Go to the hospital and tell them that you may have carbon monoxide poisoning

Do not try to stay in your home for a long amount of time without getting fresh air first.  At higher levels carbon monoxide can lead to a loss of consciousness, reduce brain function or you map lapse into a coma and even death.

How to prevent carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Install a battery-operated Carbon Monoxide detector and make sure you change your batteries at least twice a year.  You should also change your smoke detector batteries. Usually the best time to do this is when you change your clocks for daylight savings time. 
  • Make sure you maintain a detector on each level of your house.
  • Have your furnace and gas appliances checked at least once a year.  Follow your furnace guidelines and replace the filter at least every 3 months. Check your vents and ducts for signs of defects.
  • If you regularly use your fireplace have it cleaned out annually and when you use you use your fireplace make sure that you keep the flue open.
  • Don't leave your car running inside a garage, but If you do make sure that you have the door  raised so the exhaust fumes will be vented outside.
  • Don't use  a charcoal grill or a fire pit indoors.

Remember carbon monoxide poisoning resembles the flu if more than one person is exhibiting the same symptoms get to fresh air.  Also if you have a pet and they are exhibiting the same symptoms and seem lethargic that is also an indicator that you may have carbon monoxide poisoning because pets can't get the flu virus. For more safety information go to Michigan Insurance.

And Finally, if you want to know more about Michigan Insurance you should visit our Michigan Insurance blog or Detroit insurance blog. If you are looking to get a quote visit our State Farm site Michigan State Farm Agent Jay  or Find us on Facebook.  You can also visit our resource site on Starting an internet blog


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Vickie Slade
Colorado Landmark, Realtors - Boulder, CO
Service You Can Trust ~ Someone You Can Depend On

Barbara, great post about carbon monoxide.    Most people have no idea.

Dec 24, 2010 03:01 PM #1
Christine R. Sutherland
Downing-Frye Realty, Inc - the best in SW Florida - Naples, FL

EVeryone who has gas piped into their home should have a acrbon monoxide alarms installed.  Why is this not made a requirement all voer the country?!

Dec 24, 2010 03:02 PM #2
Barbara Hensley
RE/MAX Properties - Rockwall, TX
Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas

Vickie, actually this is something most of us do not think of until we hear of something terrible happening.

Christine, you are right!  This should be required to occupy any home with gas.

Dec 24, 2010 03:05 PM #3
Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips - Eureka, CA
Realtor and Broker/Owner

Hi Barbara, excellent post on carbon monixide, thansk for putting it back up.

Dec 24, 2010 04:19 PM #4
Larry O'Sullivan
Sandy, UT

Barbara- Thanks for the warnings on CO accumulation. Very handy to know.

Dec 25, 2010 07:46 PM #5
Barbara Hensley
RE/MAX Properties - Rockwall, TX
Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas

Hi, Dan.  Thanks for commenting.  Merry Christmas.

Good Morning, Larry.  Have a great day in the snow!

Dec 26, 2010 02:44 AM #6
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Barbara Hensley

Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas
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