Did you know that hundreds of people end up in the hospital each year from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning in their homes? Carbon monoxide leaks are more common than you think, so knowing the dangers associated with this toxic gas can help protect you and your family. Here we look at what carbon monoxide is, along with the everyday sources, symptoms, and what you can do to keep your family safe.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide, otherwise known as CO, is a toxic gas that has no colour, taste, or odour. The gas is a product of incomplete combustion, occurring when fuels do not burn fully.

What are the sources?

A CO leak can easily happen in your home if a gas appliance has not been properly installed or maintained, or if your chimney or vent is blocked. Sources of CO gas include unvented gas space heaters, gas stoves, gasoline powered generators, automobile exhaust, gas water heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces.

How can it be a danger to your family?

Carbon monoxide is a hidden danger to you and your family if the gas leaks out into an unventilated room, especially since it’s odourless and tasteless. When you inhale the gas, your body stops transporting oxygen to the rest of your organs, like your heart and brain, which can lead to death if not immediately treated.

What are the symptoms?

You will begin to experience chest pains, headaches, nausea, burning eyes and dizziness upon exposure to the gas. If you don’t act fast to escape the room you can quickly become extremely drowsy and eventually lose consciousness.  Prolonged exposure can lead to long-term injuries such as brain and tissue damage, and even death.

How to keep your family safe

To keep your family safe, you need to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home, and preferably nearby to the areas that are used for sleeping. As soon as the gas is detected the device will go off, indicating you need to vacate your home and call emergency services for help. You can also install a home monitoring system, which will include a carbon monoxide detector that will work to keep you and your family safe.

We all want to keep our families safe from danger, especially in our own home. That’s why it’s important to be protected against dangers such as carbon monoxide poisoning. Installing carbon monoxide detectors and having a home monitoring system in place can help protect your family by making sure you discover any potential leaks in time.

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