Carbon Monoxide Safety

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Mark Jardine
March 16, 2024
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Any carbon-containing material, such as gasoline, natural gas, propane, coal, or wood, can release carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas when it burns partially. Because CO substitutes oxygen in the blood and obstructs the delivery of essential oxygen to body cells, it is harmful.
The blood's capacity to carry oxygen is compromised when your youngster breathes carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a problem for everyone, but children are at a higher risk because they breathe more quickly and in more CO per pound of body weight. It's a good thing that there are precautions you may take to help keep your family safe from CO poisoning.

CO safety advice and recommendations are advised

  • Before the onset of the cold season each year, hire a certified specialist to inspect chimneys and fuel-burning heating equipment. Clear filters and filtering systems of dust and debris throughout the heating season.
  • When utilizing a fireplace, ensure the chimney is open for enough air.
  • Verify that the pilot lights on natural gas appliances have a blue flame by looking at them. A flame that is predominantly yellow is probably releasing CO.
  • Lint and other debris that may accumulate in the clothes dryer vent that exits the house should be cleaned.
  • Use generators outdoors, away from windows, doors, and vent openings in a well-ventilated area.
  • Never use a barbeque grill inside or in the garage; only use them outside.
  • Even if the overhead garage door is open, never leave a car running in a garage for a few minutes.
  • Install a CO alarm in every bedroom, outside of all sleeping areas, and on every house floor, including the basement.
  • Plan routine maintenance. Ensure you get professionals to install the proper ventilation for each item and install your fuel-burning appliances.

Consult your child's pediatrician

Consult your physician if you have any concerns about carbon monoxide. Staff at your area's Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) can address parents' worries about environmental contaminants.
If the CO alarm goes off, leave your house immediately. Get outside and into a secure area to get some fresh air. Once outdoors in a secure area, dial 911 or the fire department. Wait outside until assistance from emergency personnel arrives, and they advise you that it is okay to go back inside your house.