What do you know about CO?

Carbon monoxide

Fall is a prime season for relying on your propane-powered equipment to keep your family warm and safe (or clean, in the case of water heaters) – which means it’s also a prime season for a carbon monoxide safety reminder.

As you probably know, any appliance that burns fuel produces some amount of CO, which In very small quantities is harmless. But as it builds, CO can become an increasingly serious threat to your health and safety.

Don’t know much about CO? Here are six questions and answers about the gas to help keep your family safe in your NJ home.

1. What is carbon monoxide? – Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas produced by burning fuel, including heating oil, gasoline, coal, wood, charcoal, kerosene, propane, or natural gas. In high amounts, carbon monoxide can cause CO poisoning, which can lead to illness, unconsciousness, or, in extreme cases, death.

2. What causes CO buildup? – CO buildup usually occurs for two reasons: poor ventilation or damaged / improperly maintained heating equipment.

3. What are the symptoms of CO poisoning? – Symptoms of CO poisoning vary depend on the amount of exposure to the gas.

  • In mild cases, symptoms include nausea, fatigue, headaches and dizziness
  • In moderate cases, symptoms include severe headaches, drowsiness, and disorientation
  • In extreme cases, symptoms include unconsciousness, convulsions, and, in rare cases, death.

4. What should I do if I experience CO poisoning symptoms? – If you experience CO poisoning symptoms,

  • Get fresh air immediately – open windows and leave the house.
  • Call 911
  • Report your symptoms to your doctor
  • Service faulty fuel-burning appliances before using them again

5. What should you do if the CO alarm sounds? – If your CO alarm sounds, assume there is a buildup of the gas in your home. Take the following actions immediately:

  • Leave the house
  • Call 911
  • DO NOT reenter the premises until getting the OK from the fire department
  • Service faulty fuel-burning appliances before using them again

6. How can I avoid CO problems in my home? – To avoid CO problems, take these five precautions:

  1. Learn the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning, and teach your family what to do if they experience them.
  2. Maintain all fuel-burning appliances every year
  3. Install CO (and propane leak) detectors in your home.
  4. Repair any faulty appliances immediately!
  5. Consider an upgrade on older fuel-burning equipment

Stay safe this heating season! If you have any questions about propane safety in your New Jersey home, contact us any time – your safety is always our priority!