The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is still one of the top dangers in the home that many property owners are not knowledgeable about even though it can potentially be fatal if not dealt with effectively.
Around 60 people lose their lives to carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the NHS per year. Although this figure alone doesn’t seem an extravagant number, it is a travesty when everyone single one of these deaths could have been avoided.
To help more people to learn what Carbon Monoxide is and how it can be avoided, we have created this guide for you to use in your own home.
What do I do when the Carbon Monoxide detector alarms?
There are a wide variety of appliances that are regularly used in the home to keep you and your family safe, but any of these gadgets that use gas or fuel are potentially at risk of a carbon monoxide leak. For example, your fridge, boiler and tumble dryer could all be a threat to the family’s health.
As many of us know, Carbon Monoxide can be very dangerous to humans and has the potential to take a life if exposed in large amounts. The reason Carbon Monoxide is so dangerous it because it is tasteless, odourless and colourless which can make detecting it almost impossible without the right equipment.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
As previously mentioned, carbon monoxide is completely tasteless, odourless and colourless gas that can be toxic to any living being that uses haemoglobin as an oxygen carrier which includes both humans and animals.
It is important to note that carbon monoxide isn’t a gas that is always in the air, it is only produced when the combustion of fossil fuels isn’t completed. Overall, there is usually only a small amount in the air, while this isn’t what we want, it is unlikely to be a risk to your health.
However, if the gas was left untreated, it would accumulate which is when it will start to become more toxic. There can be many causes to the carbon monoxide accumulating, including poor insulation or broken appliances that we mentioned previously.
What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning? What are the signs?
When your body is exposed to a high quantity of carbon monoxide, it begins to build up in your blood, which is where your oxygen will start to be replaced with carbon monoxide, leading to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Dependant on how much carbon monoxide you are exposed to, different symptoms might come to the surface. Mild carbon monoxide poisoning is usually left undiagnosed and untreated due to its flu like symptoms. The signs usually start with a headache, leading to making you feel dizzy, nauseas and feel short of breath. However, unlike the flu, your temperature won’t change and won’t have a fever, which makes it the easiest way to identify id it is carbon monoxide poisoning.
As you would expect, the longer that someone is exposed to the gas, the worse the symptoms get. The dizziness and nausea will intensify and will cause you issues with balancing and your vision becoming blurry. In extreme cases, you will become unconscious which will likely lead to you experiencing neurological issues in the following years. To treat carbon monoxide poisoning, some people can undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy to get high-pressure oxygen pumped into the chamber to clear carbon monoxide.
Why fit a Carbon Monoxide detector?
Carbon Monoxide detectors is the only proven way to truly identify if there has been a leak in your home due to it being a silent killer.
There are endless amounts of carbon monoxide detectors available on the market now a days which are designed to fit your individual needs; all of which are designed to keep your house safe from this harmful gas. Both battery and plugin detectors can detect carbon monoxide using different methods. One method is by the detectors using a gel which changes colour and sounds the alarm when exposed to carbon monoxide. Another method is the detectors can be fitted with a chemical covered electrode which change current and sounds the alarm.