Environmental safety is always a topic of concern. A few years ago, I knew about carbon monoxide detectors, but didn’t care if I had one or not (I didn’t). Today, I’m a big proponent of these type of life-saving devices. Why?
A couple of years ago, I sat down with someone in the industry and we discussed some of the serious issues that arise from carbon monoxide poisoning. Still, it seemed an unlikely reality. Then I found out that friends suffered mild CO poisoning, thankfully without long-term repercussions, but certainly with illness at the time. Then, not long after a friend from New York began getting sick on a regular basis and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Thankfully her doctor knew the signs enough to know that she was suffering from CO poisoning. Imagine if it had become worse, or if she didn’t go to the doctor. She could’ve died. Thankfully, she was, and is, fine. but, all of these things got me thinking, and ultimately committed me to CO protection.
Having discussed CO detectors before, I thought there wasn’t much more to say, but an article in the Belfast Telegraph piqued my interest. The title is, “Carbon Monoxide: don’t rely on detectors alone.” Worth a read, I figured, and I was right. The basic point is this: a carbon monoxide detector exists to alert you to a problem. It doesn’t identify the source of the problem and it can’t alert you to potential future problems. All it can do is warn you once the danger is already there. And that’s great. Its a huge and necessary thing to know as soon as CO levels become dangerous in your home. But, its the last step, not the first.
So, what does the article recommend?
- Have your gas appliances serviced and checked annually, by a professional
- Keep rooms well ventilated
- Check flues and chimneys on a regular basis
Lastly, if you’re feeling sick, especially nauseated, check with a doctor. Carbon monoxide kills about 170 people every year in the United States(source); and while that number may seem small, its 170 too many for a killer that is preventable, and detectable.