Carbon Monoxide Blood CellsCarbon Monoxide (CO) is known as a silent killer. Because many of its symptoms can mimic those of a regular flu or common fatigue, hundreds of people die accidentally every year from CO poisoning.

In order to better protect you and your family, here are some tips and information you need to know to not become a victim.

Know the Sources

CO is commonly produced in homes by normal everyday appliances. Any form of burning fuel, oil, and wood associated by toasters, heaters, and ovens are producing CO in you home everyday.

Being exposed to small amounts of CO natural and should not cause any problems. The key is to figure out how much your household items are producing. Often times old and malfunctioning appliances are the sources of deadly levels.

Know the Symptoms

At minor levels, CO can cause one to suffer shortness of breath, mild nausea, and mild headaches. Though such levels will probably not kill you, they can have long-term and irreversible effects on your health.

At higher levels, CO exposure can cause severe headaches, dizziness, nausea, mental confusion, and fainting. If these levels persist over a long period of time, they can and most certainly will be fatal.

How to Avoid CO Poisoning

The first step is to have your home routinely checked by a qualified professional for CO levels. The inspector should check your entire home to insure that vents are functioning properly, appliances are releasing normal levels, and chimneys are clean and providing adequate flow out of the house. Many gas and electricity providers offer this service either free or at a low cost.

Secondly, you should install a CO Detector in your home. They can easily be purchased from any hardware for under $30 and function similar to fire detectors. When dangerous levels are detected, an alarm sounds to indicate that you and your family should evacuate the premise immediately. More and more states each year are legally obligating homes to have CO detectors as they go a long way towards keeping individuals safe. People who are injured to due another person’s irresponsible behavior or neglect, have the right to pursue legal action and compensation for damages caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.