Act Like Your Life Depends on It; IT DOES!
Last month, a Plymouth customer called because her furnace wasn't working properly. I soon found a cracked heat exchanger. I immediately opened doors and windows throughout the home. Deadly carbon monoxide gas had been escaping into the home. We installed a new furnace.
When I asked the homeowner if she had carbon monoxide detectors, she reported that they had in fact gone off a few days earlier so had been unplugged to stop the noise. But nothing was checked!
When I asked if she had been having any health issues, the homeowner said that she had experienced headaches and dizziness and had even visited the hospital emergency room one day.
THIS HOMEOWNER AND HER FAMILY WERE SLOWLY BEING POISONED.
THE DOCTORS MISDIAGNOSED, AND SENT HER BACK TO THE HOME!
Here's what you should do whenever your carbon monoxide detector sounds:
- GET FRESH AIR IMMEDIATELY! Open doors and windows.
- THEN LEAVE THE HOME, AND CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT. They'll check for carbon monoxide. If they detect it, they'll turn off all fuel burning appliances. That will include your fireplace, oil or gas-burning furnaces, water heater, generator, stove, oven, space heater, etc.
- GO TO AN EMERGENCY ROOM AND REPORT THAT YOU SUSPECT CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING. THIS IS IMPORTANT! The emergency room medical team that treated our Plymouth customer did not diagnose carbon monoxide poisoning and sent them home. That's not unusual. Such symptoms are often mistaken for those of flu, food poisoning or other common respiratory ilnesses. It is critical that you tell them that your carbon monoxide detector went off!
- CALL YOUR BALANCED HVAC PROFESSIONALS TO CHECK YOUR FUEL-BURNING APPLIANCES BEFORE RETURNING THEM TO SERVICE.
Carbon monoxide poisoining is serious business.
It's the leading cause of poisoning deaths in the U.S. This silent killer is colorless and odorless. At high levels, it can kill within minutes. Even low levels can cause shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea and headaches and may have long-term effects on health.
PREVENTION IS THE KEY!
Of course your best protection lies in prevention
- EQUIP YOUR HOME WITH A WORKING CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR. NEVER disconnect its power supply, and ALWAYS check batteries. (We send all newsletter readers email reminders twice a year. Let us know about friends and loved ones you'd like us to include.)
- SCHEDULE ANNUAL HEATER MAINTENANCE SERVICE. Had this homeowner followed our recommendation, we would have detected the problem well before her heat exchanger failed.
If you have not yet had your heater inspected this season, schedule now. If your home does not have a working carbon monoxide detector, contact us. Ours detect low level contamination that standard store-bought detectors miss. If you have not checked your detector's batteries in the last six months, do so immediately.
Please take this advice seriously. It can save your life and the lives of those you most love.