Presentation on theme: "Protecting Against Carbon Monoxide in Your Home"— Presentation transcript:
1 Protecting Against Carbon Monoxide in Your Home Sarah Kirby, PhD Sandy Wiggins, EdDNorth Carolina Cooperative ExtensionThis lesson will teach you how to protect against Carbon Monoxide poisoning in your home.
2 What is Carbon Monoxide? CODeadly, poisonous gasCan’t see, taste, feel or smellProduced by incomplete combustion of fuel burning devicesCarbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas. It can make you very sick or even kill you.Carbon monoxide comes from fuel-burning appliances that use gas, oil, or wood to product heat. If they aren’t working properly, they can make CO. Most gas appliances that have been put into a home and taken care of properly are save and make very little CO, but unvented appliances may not be safe. Electric appliances do not burn fuel so the make no CO.
3 What’s the problem with CO? 500 unintentional deaths each year in USCO exposure accounts for approximately 15,000 emergency department visits yearlySurvivors of CO poisoning can suffer from brain damage, loss of sight or hearing, or heart problemsCO poisoning is a major threat to health. According the the Center for Disease Control, each year, approximately 500 people are die after breathing too much CO. In addition, CO exposure accounts fro approximately 15,000 emergency visits yearly. People who survive CO poisoning can suffer long term damage, such as brain damage, loss of sight or hearing and heart problems.Breathing in low levels of CO can hurt your brain, heart, and other parts of your body. At high levels the brain is so short of oxygen that you cannot think clearly. You lose control of your muscles and may be unable to move to safety. High-level CO poisoning can cause loss of consciousness, coma, and death.There are simple but important things you can do to keep yourself and your family safe. The first is to know where CO comes from, the second is to understand the signs of CO, and finally is to identify ways to keep you and your family protected from potential CO poisoning.CDC, 2007
4 Where Does CO Come From? Gas & oil furnaces, boilers, water heaters Wood burning fireplaces and stovesGas appliances (ovens, stoves, dryers)Gas and kerosene space heatersGas and charcoal grillsWhere does Carbon Monoxide come from?Common source of CO include:Gas and oil furnaces, boilers, and water heaters (non-electric)Wood-burning fireplaces and stovesGas appliances, such as ovens, stoves and dryersGas and kerosene space heatersGas and charcoal grills
5 Where Does CO Come From? Cars, trucks, campers, and other vehicles Gas and liquid propane fueled equipmentRecreational vehiclesTobacco smoke, house firesBlocked chimneys and fluesAdditional sources include:Cars, trucks, campers, tractors and other vehiclesGasoline and liquid propane (LP) powered small equipment, including lawn mowers, snow blowers, chainsaws, pressure washers, and electric generatorsRecreational vehicles including boat motors all terrain vehicles (ATVs) ski-boats and generators in campers and houseboatsTobacco smokeHouse firesBlocked chimneys and flues
6 What are the signs of CO poisoning? SleepinessTightness in chestTrouble breathingChanges in sensesAll of these are flu- like symptomsHeadacheNauseaVomitingDizzinessConfusionTirednessWeaknessWhat are the signs and symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning?People often confuse CO poisoning with the flu. That’s because it can feel like the flue. Signs of low-level CO poisoning may include:HeadacheNauseaVomitingDizzinessConfusionTirednessWeaknessSleepinessTightness in chestTrouble breathingChanges in senses of sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste
7 How Can I Protect Myself and My Family? Never use charcoal grills or run engines inside home, garage, or basementNever warm up vehicle in garageThere are a number of ways you can protect yourself and your family for potential CO poisoning. These include:Never use charcoal grills or run engines inside your home, garage or basement even for a short time. Charcoal grills and small gasoline engines make a lot of carbon monoxide. Even opening all the windows and doors will not give you enough fresh air to prevent CO poisoning.Never warm up a vehicle inside the garage. Warming up your car, truck, or motor cycle on a cold day for just a couple of minutes (even with the garage door open) can make enough CO to make you sick. Start lawn mowers and other yard equipment outdoors.
8 How Can I Protect Myself and My Family? Keep chimney and wood burning stove in good working orderHave furnace, chimney and gas appliances checkedUse kerosene , gas heaters and vent-free fireplaces carefully -- follow instructions and open windowHave a heating contractor check your furnace, chimneys, and other sources of CO every fall to make certain everything is working properly. Make sure they use a tool that measures CO. To get harmful gases out of a home, many heating appliances have chimneys (on gas appliances these are called vents). The chimney carries CO and other combustion gases from the appliance to the outdoors. If your appliances and vents are working right, there should be little CO in your home. If you rent, ask your landlord to have the hearting system checked.Make sure chimneys are in good shape, clean and working correctly. Have your chimney, wood-burning fireplace, or wood stove swept every year. Burning wood nearly always makes a lot of CO. It is very important that all the smoke goes out the chimney.If you use unvented kerosene or gas heaters OR a vent-free gas fireplace, follow instructions carefully and always open a window for fresh air. DO NOT use them while sleeping.ChimneyGas Heater
9 How Can I Protect Myself and My Family? Use kitchen exhaust fan when using ovenNever use a kitchen stove or oven for heatKitchen exhaust ventAlways turn on the kitchen exhaust fan when using non-electric oven or range top.Never use the kitchen stove or oven to heat your home.
10 How Can I Protect Myself and My Family? Make certain gas appliances burn correctlyDon’t use a smoking fireplaceHave the kitchen range top fixed before using it if the flames burn orange or yellow.Don’t use a smoking fireplace until you have the problem fixed.
11 Carbon Monoxide Alarms At least one for every householdNear sleeping areas and on each floor of your homeSounds an alarm when CO becomes too high, purchase one that records peak loadsBattery operated, or battery backupDo not install above or directly beside fuel-burning appliancesUse Carbon monoxide alarms near each sleeping area and on each floor of your home.Carbon monoxide alarms help protect your and your family from sickness or death. A good alarm will make a loud noise when CO levels become too high. There are plug-in and battery operated alarms. If you have a plug in alarm, make certain that it has a battery back up. You want one that will record peak levels of CO as well as dangerous/lethal levels. Co alarms should not be installed directly above or beside fuel-burning appliances.
12 If CO Alarm Sounds: Get outside right away Call 911 from phone outside your homeHave home checked by qualified heating/appliance technicianDon’t go back into the home until all problems are fixedIf someone in your family shows signs of CO poisoning or if a Co alarm goes off:Get outside right awayCall 911 or your local emergency number from a phone outside your homeHave your home checked out by a qualified heating or appliance contractorDon’t go back into the home until all problems are fixedSee a doctor or a nurse right away if you have signs of CO poisoning
13 You can protect you and your family from CO Protecting you and your family from CO is relatively simple.First, make certain that you understand where CO comes from, secondly operate all equipment that produces CO properly and have it inspected for safety, and finally install a CO alarm to safeguard you and your family against potentially lethal doses of CO.