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Carbon Monoxide FAQ

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas. It is often referred to as the “silent killer” because it is impossible to detect without specialized equipment such as carbon monoxide detectors.

Carbon monoxide gas is naturally created as a byproduct of combustion in all fuel-burning fires. Wood, gas, kerosene, propane, and coal are just a few of the fuel sources that create carbon monoxide gas when burned. Carbon Monoxide FAQ - Memphis TN - Coopertown Services

What is carbon monoxide poisoning?

While carbon monoxide poisoning is rare, it can be fatal; because of this, all homeowners should understand the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. In the United States alone, more than 400 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide gas is poisonous and extremely hazardous to your health. With low levels of exposure to the gas, carbon monoxide poisoning often mimics flu-like symptoms including headache, nausea, and drowsiness. With continued exposure, carbon monoxide poisoning can cause impaired coordination, vision, and cognitive functioning. In high concentrations, exposure to carbon monoxide gas can lead to coma and even death.

If you believe you are suffering the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, it is important to move to a fresh air location such as outdoors or near an open window as soon as possible. Emergency services should then be called.

How can I prevent carbon monoxide leaks?

Homeowners shouldn’t stop using their fireplaces, furnaces, or other fuel-burning appliances in fear of carbon monoxide poisoning. Instead, there are a number of easy and common sense ways to prevent carbon monoxide leaks.

  • Install carbon monoxide detectors.
    Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every floor of your home, especially near fuel-burning appliances and outside of sleeping areas. In addition to testing the detectors every 6 months to ensure they are still working, homeowners should have them replaced every 7-10 years; this ensures the carbon monoxide detectors are up to date with current technology and safety standards.
  • Have fireplaces and stoves swept and inspected.
    Regular maintenance such as chimney sweepings and inspections should be conducted at least once per year. This ensures that your heating appliance is free from damage or deterioration that could cause a carbon monoxide leak.
  • Never allow cars to idle in garages, even when the door is open.
  • Move grills away from open windows and doors.
  • Replace vent-free space heaters with vented models when possible.
    If using a vent-free fireplace or space heater, crack a window in the room.
  • Do not run generators in enclosed spaces such as garages or basements.

Use your fireplace with increased peace of mind this winter by having it swept and inspected to help prevent carbon monoxide leaks. For more information on preventing carbon monoxide leaks or to schedule your next maintenance appointment, contact the experts at Coopertown Services today!

By Christina Robinson on January 10th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Carbon Monoxide Poisioning

Fireplaces, heaters, and stoves are used most during the cold months of fall and winter. While these heating appliances keep our homes warm, cozy, and comfortable, their use also increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. To keep you and your family safe this winter, it is important that everyone with a heating appliance in their home recognizes the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Image - Memphis TN - Coopertown ServicesWhat is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas. Because it is virtually undetectable without special equipment, it is often called the “silent killer”.

Carbon monoxide gas is created during all combustion reactions. Whether your heating appliance burns gas, wood, pellets, coal, propane, or kerosene, it is creating carbon monoxide gas. While all fireplaces, stoves, and heating appliances are built and designed to safely vent this dangerous gas, malfunctions can cause carbon monoxide to build up in your home instead. Common causes of carbon monoxide buildup include running cars in garages, malfunctioning furnaces, or improper fireplace venting.

Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Because carbon monoxide gas can be so difficult to detect, it is important that homeowners recognize the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning commonly mimics flu-like symptoms; this includes headache, nausea, and sleepiness. After prolonged exposure, symptoms can worsen to include cognitive impairment, decreased coordination, and vision problems. Without seeking treatment, carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to coma and even death.

If you believe you are experiencing any of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, move to a fresh air area immediately; if weather prevents you from going outdoors, stand by an open door or window. Call emergency services and have them evaluate the carbon monoxide levels in your home before returning inside.

Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning.

While carbon monoxide is a threat that should not be ignored, there are a number of easy, common sense ways to protect your family against this harmful gas.

  • Install carbon monoxide detectors.
    Just like smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every floor of your home as well as outside sleeping areas. Test batteries at least every six months, replacing as needed. Carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every 7-10 years to stay up with modern safety standards.
  • Inspect fireplaces annually.
    Fireplaces and stoves should be professionally inspected annually to ensure they are undamaged and venting properly.
  • Warm cars up outdoors.
    Always pull cars out of the driveway before warming them up or allowing them to idle; carbon monoxide can build up in the enclosed space even if the garage door is open.
  • Run generators outdoors.
    Never run generators in garages, crawl spaces, sheds, or other enclosed areas.
  • Use vented appliances.
    Whenever possible, replace ventless or vent free heaters with models that vent to the outdoors.

By understanding the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and taking steps to prevent it, you can keep your family safe. Plus, you can enjoy your fireplace all winter long. For more information on carbon monoxide poisoning, or to schedule your next fireplace inspection, contact Coopertown Services today.

By Christina Robinson on January 27th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

All About Carbon Monoxide

If you're not sure whether or not carbon monoxide is present in your home, call Coopertown Services and we'll get to the bottom of it.

If you’re not sure whether or not carbon monoxide is present in your home, call Coopertown Services and we’ll get to the bottom of it.

When a member of your family becomes sick, it is sometimes scary. When they have poisoning from something from inside of your home, it is something you need to have looked into immediately. But how do you know when it is coming and what the problem is? Household appliances and chimneys can be dangerous if not used and taken care of in the proper way. If you have any questions about your chimney, call the professionals at Coopertown Services today!

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide is one of the most dangerous gases found in your home that your body can react to. The bad part is that you cannot see or smell the gas so it can affect you before you are aware it is present. The toxins in the gas fight with the already present oxygen levels in your blood stream to cause symptoms that are similar to a cold including nausea, fatigue, dizziness and headache. As symptoms worsen you may feel chest pains before it eventually leads to fatality.

What should you do if you sense CO in your home?

If you or the people around you begin to develop these symptoms, you should evacuate the area immediately and call in a professional to check out the space. Even if you stop what is causing the leak, the room will still need time to air out. It is then important to go visit a doctor to see what has gotten in your system to be diagnosed. Most small cases will be treated in office, however extreme cases will require hospitalization and being put on oxygen until levels are back to normal.

How can you prevent CO from harming the people of your home?

It is important to have your chimney sweep and inspection once a year, or as advised by your technician so that the draft is not changed and the gases are not backed up. Now you can buy alarms that you can spread throughout your home to let you know when levels are high. When connected, they can alert the entire house at once. These are not the same as smoke alarms, so make sure both are properly tested and replaced as needed