Carbon monoxide (CO) is a difficult to detect, poisonous gas that can kill you in minutes. Since it is colorless, tasteless and odorless, there are few warning signs to the presence of CO. So, it’s easy not to be aware of carbon monoxide in your workplace or home.
Because of its lack of detectability, it’s important to know how to detect and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
• Be aware of any appliances, such as kerosene or gas heaters, that may produce carbon monoxide gases.
• Have abundant ventilation to any areas where carbon monoxide may accumulate.
• Do not use unapproved heating equipment in your home or workplace.
Detecting Carbon Monoxide is Crucial
• Have working carbon monoxide detector that has been properly installed in your home or workplace.
• Make sure that your carbon monoxide detector has ample power.
• Proper installation of a carbon monoxide detector is either on the ceiling or at least 5 ft. above the floor of the room.
• Some carbon monoxide detectors can be installed as part of your security system. This gives added security as carbon monoxide detection can be monitored by a central station.
• Inspect and test your carbon monoxide detectors yearly.
Signs and Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide will kill you relatively quickly. Abundant amounts of carbon monoxide can cause loss of consciousness and suffocation in a matter of minutes. It displaces clean oxygen in your bloodstream. Depriving your vital organs of the oxygen they need to function.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
• Rapid breathing
If you find yourself experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning or carbon monoxide has been detected IMMEDIATELY exit the building and get to an area of fresh air. Notify the fire department of the carbon monoxide detection and seek medical attention.