Many homes use fuel-burning appliances every day with no problem. Gas stoves, ovens, fireplaces, and more help keep our homes functional and comfortable. However, these appliances also come with the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if something goes wrong. Keep reading to learn the importance of installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home and discover ways to keep you and your family safe.
What Is Carbon Monoxide?
Most homeowners who have fuel-burning appliances have heard of carbon monoxide but don’t know what it is. Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a tasteless, odorless, colorless gas formed when fuels fail to combust properly. That means if your gas-burning oven or fireplace doesn’t light properly, the device can release CO into the air in your home. As it has no taste, odor, or color, you may not even know when it happens.
What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
When CO gets in the air and humans inhale it, we often don’t consciously recognize that we’re inhaling CO. However, our bodies know it. CO molecules replace oxygen in the human body, poisoning us from the inside out. CO poisoning symptoms are similar to other illnesses, so sometimes we don’t even recognize that CO is the problem when we feel ill. The most common symptoms are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Extreme amounts of CO can make you faint or even prove fatal.
How Do You Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
There are two ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning: keep all fuel-burning appliances away from your home or install carbon monoxide detectors. Since replacing fuel-burning appliances can be expensive, and necessary parts of your home life, like your car, can emit carbon monoxide, the first option often isn’t realistic. Instead, protect your home and family by installing carbon monoxide detectors. These detectors will detect CO in the air and alert you before the effects can make you sick.
Where Should You Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors?
You should have carbon monoxide detectors in several spaces around your home, depending on the location of your fuel-burning appliances. If you own a gas stove, you should take safety precautions and place carbon monoxide detectors low to the ground in the rooms surrounding your kitchen. Placing one inside the kitchen can cause a false alarm.
If you have a gas fireplace in your living room, place detectors low to the ground in the surrounding rooms. Regardless of where your fuel-burning appliances are, place at least one detector around the bedrooms in your home for extra protection. This detector should also be low to the ground; carbon monoxide is heavy and will fall as low as possible.
Carbon monoxide detectors are important because they protect you and your family from carbon monoxide poisoning. Installing them in your home allows you to use your fuel-burning appliances while keeping your family safe.