The threat of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is often misunderstood. Despite that this deadly gas causes in-home fatalities every year, many homeowners fail to see the risk to their own lives. As such, they choose not to install CO detectors in their home, or they mistakenly assume there is no way they could be poisoned.
But the reality is: most homes are at risk. And if you're not taking the proper steps to detect CO leaks, then you're putting your life (and your families' lives), in danger.
What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
CO is a gas that is formed by an incomplete combustion of fuels. In simpler terms, CO can form when a material or substance is burned. CO molecules displace oxygen in human bodies, which results in poisoning (see symptoms below). The gas is odorless, colorless and has no taste, which is another reason why it's so dangerous: humans can't detect it.
Sources of Carbon Monoxide in the Home
The most common reasons for carbon monoxide poisoning in the home are issues related to heating systems and engines. However, CO can come from many different sources, including:The most common reasons for carbon monoxide poisoning in the home are issues related to heating systems and engines. However, CO can come from many different sources, including:
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
CO poisoning can be difficult to identify, but common early warning signs include:
These symptoms, if ignored, rapidly lead to loss of consciousness, which is the most common reason for fatality: being unable to escape after the gas has knocked you out.
How to reduce your risk