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The Facts About Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Are Dangerous to Ignore

Health & Safety

Carbon monoxide (CO) is colorless and odorless, making it a scary, hidden killer. It can be hard to identify a CO threat on your own, but there are signs to look out for and precautions you can take.

Guardian Protection carbon monoxide detector with a Guardian notification saying that a CO alert has been triggered

What Is Carbon Monoxide (CO)?

CO is a gas that is found in both indoor and outdoor air. It can be released by natural sources, as well as by burning ordinary fuels like gasoline, wood, propane, and charcoal.

It’s easy to turn a blind eye to dangers you can’t see, but when it comes to carbon monoxide, what you don’t know can hurt you and your family.

Ways You Can Be Exposed to Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide poisoning is very difficult for the average person to notice on their own, yet you can be exposed to an excess of it easily. Some examples of ways you can be exposed to CO include:

  • Breathing in gas from improperly installed/filtered stoves, furnaces, heaters, and generators
  • Breathing air containing automobile exhaust
  • Breathing air containing cigarette smoke
  • Working in industries that burn gas and coal
  • Smoke inhalation during a fire

What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a health emergency that occurs when you breathe in too many CO fumes. After inhaling carbon monoxide, it enters your lungs and replaces oxygen in red blood cells, depriving vital organs like your heart and brain of oxygen. It can lead to severe illness and even death.

Here are a few facts to put that in perspective:

  • Over 400 people die annually in the U.S. from accidental CO poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
  • If CO is only present at home, you may feel fine while you’re out and about.
  • The signs of CO poisoning may present like common flu symptoms.
  • CO is color, tasteless, and odorless, making it undetectable without equipment.
  • Someone who is sleeping or has been drinking alcohol can die of CO poisoning before experiencing any symptoms.
  • Having a smoke detector will not help protect you from CO poisoning.
  • The very young and the very old are most sensitive to the effects of CO.
  • More than one-third of carbon monoxide-related deaths occur when the victim is asleep, according to Harvard Medical School.

We know this isn’t fun or easy reading. But the more you know about carbon monoxide poisoning, the better off you are.

What Are the Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Poisoning from carbon monoxide can take many forms. Several symptoms can even appear mild, making it even more difficult to detect. In fact, many people mistake the symptoms of CO poisoning for the flu. However, there are some indicators you can look out for to tip you off to a larger, more dangerous threat.

The Mayo Clinic states that the most frequent symptoms are:

  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Memory loss
  • Personality changes
  • Movement problems

These symptoms can be the first signs that something is wrong.

Looking to help protect your home from carbon monoxide?

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How Do I Know if I’ve Been Exposed to CO?

Carbon monoxide detectors can help to provide you with one of the fastest ways to notice there is an issue with carbon monoxide in your home. It’s virtually undetectable without a CO alarm, which is why absolutely every household should have them. They are actually required by law in most states. It’s recommended to place CO detectors as close to sleeping areas as possible.

Carbon monoxide detectors are a great tool to prevent you and your loved ones from being unknowingly exposed to CO. In addition to detecting CO, Guardian’s carbon monoxide detectors use PowerG wireless intrusion for an added layer of protection, so you can feel even safer with more secure encryption. Our device also gives you a longer battery life and wider range. After it’s professionally installed, you can feel reassured knowing that your CO detector is looking out for you even when no one is home.

Make Sure It’s Monitored

Carbon monoxide poisoning can quickly become a serious threat to you and your loved ones if it is not caught quickly. Early detection can be an easy solution standing between you and tragedy, and monitored carbon monoxide detectors are the ultimate way to help protect your home.

Monitored CO detection gives you the added safety net that comes with having someone make sure your home is protected 24/7. If carbon monoxide is detected, your device will not only notify you but also our monitoring center of the potential threat. With this, if you’re not home to directly deal with a possible CO leak, Guardian will be able to handle the situation for you by contacting the relevant authorities to make sure that the problem is dealt with.

Making sure that your device is professionally monitored adds another layer of reassurance. You won’t have to worry about being on guard 24/7 when our professional monitoring centers already looking out for you!

How To Prevent CO Poisoning Prevention

Detection of carbon monoxide is key but so is prevention. Here are a few tips to help keep you safe:

  • Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
  • Fuel-burning appliances should be used in a well-ventilated area or have the fumes vented to the outdoors.
  • Generators and any gas-powered equipment should be used outside, at least 20 feet away from doors, windows, and vents (never in an enclosed space).
  • Don’t let your car or truck run inside an attached garage, even with the door open.
  • Never attempt to heat your home, cabin, or camper using a gas range or oven.
  • Never use a charcoal grill or a barbecue grill indoors, unless you’re using it inside a vented fireplace.
  • Get medical help right away if you suspect CO poisoning or are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseated.

Detect, Deter, and Don’t Worry!

You don’t have to live in fear of carbon monoxide poisoning. With the knowledge and tools to help avoid it, you can put this threat toward the bottom of your list of stressors. Between arming yourself with the signs to look for and using a professionally monitored CO detector, your home and loved ones can stay safe from the symptoms of this invisible threat.

Call us at 1.800.PROTECT (1.800.776.8328) to learn more about adding a carbon monoxide detector to your Guardian Protection security system.

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