Home safety is a concern for all Chesapeake residents, but while many hazards are easy to spot, one in particular is virtually invisible: carbon monoxide (CO). There’s no question that CO alarms save lives, but it’s imperative that they’re installed correctly, located in the right spots and tested regularly.
Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless and flavorless gas that’s a poisonous by-product of fuel combustion. Each year, hundreds of Americans die from inhalation, and tens of thousands more visit the emergency room with symptoms.
People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before experiencing any symptoms, but for the rest, common flu-like symptoms include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weakness, chest pain, confusion and upset stomach.
Take the necessary steps to prevent carbon monoxide from forming in your home, including the following:
- Install CO alarms in the hallway outside the sleeping area, and one on each level of your home.
- Test CO alarms once a month.
- Have all fuel-burning appliances serviced annually by a certified technician.
- Don’t use portable heaters or generators inside the house or within a 20 foot range of windows, vents or doors.
- Never idle your car in the garage or carport, even if the garage door is open.
- Never use the oven as a source of heat.
How to Test CO Alarms
Consult the owner’s manual for step-by-step instructions, though most CO alarms can be tested using the following method:
- Locate the test button.
- Depress and hold for several seconds.
- Listen for a beep, which indicates it’s in working order.
- Release the button.
- In the absence of a beep, try replacing the batteries and testing again; if it fails, replace the unit.
Learn more about how to test CO alarms, as well as other indoor air quality solutions, from the pros at Weather Makers, or give us a call at 757-263-4869.