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"Let's be careful out there." Carbon Monoxide - Invisible Killer

Home Inspector with Mid America Inspection Services, LLC North Dakota 19 & 93


Carbon Monoxide – Invisible Killer


Fall is well on us and the leaves are nearly gone. This is the time of year we try our best to seal out the colder weather by making our homes as air tight as we can. Storm windows go up, caulk installed and heating systems fired up for the first time in months.

 This year, if typical, will see about 170 Americans die from non-vehicle related carbon monoxide poisoning. The majority of these will from poorly maintained or improperly used heating appliances.  These are almost 100% preventable. Here is a check list to help make certain your family or that of your clients is not a part of this statistic.

 1.       Install carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home with at least one near each sleeping area. Change batteries once a year and replace detectors at about 5 – 7 years.

 2.       Have fuel fired heating appliances serviced at least every two years or better annually. Make certain that the service technician not only cleans and adjusts the unit but also does a check for any carbon monoxide leaks.

 3.       Do not use portable or unvented fuel fired heaters inside any confined area.

 4.       Do not run any fuel powered engine or generator inside any confined area.

 5.       Do not burn charcoal inside any confined area.

 6.       Do not attempt to use a gas fired range or clothes dryer for heating.

 7.       Do not run your vehicle engine while in the garage to warm it up.

 8.       If you use any “vent free” heaters make certain that the manufactures instructions are followed and keep in mind that these are not allowed in several states because of safety concerns.

 9.       Do be aware that the symptoms of low level CO poisoning are very much like the flu but without the accompanying fever;

 a.       Headache

 b.      Tiredness

 c.       Difficulty catching your breath

 d.      Dizziness

 e.      Nausea

 10.   Do heed your CO detectors. They are there to help keep you safer in your own home. If they go off, there is a reason even if it is only a defective detector.

 As the Hill Street Blues’  Sergeant Esterhaus used to say, “Let's Be Careful Out There,"


Mid-America Inspection Services, serving Fargo and West Fargo, North Dakota, Moorhead, Alexandria, Fergus Falls, Detroit Lakes, Wadena and the Minnesota Lakes Region
 218-443-3555, 320-846-0004, 218-287-0877, 218-841-0444






Chandler Real Estate Liz Harris, MBA
Liz Harris Realty - Chandler, AZ

Thanks for the symptoms!  Yes, carbon monoxide detectors are a must!

Nov 02, 2011 03:12 PM