No matter how hard we try, it’s not possible to detect carbon monoxide with our senses. It’s a colorless and odourless gas, with no smell and taste. This makes carbon monoxide an even more dangerous gas to our family. High carbon monoxide level inside the house or car could lead to slow, painless death. We have heard how people died in their sleep due to carbon monoxide poisoning. If we are living in risky areas, it’s a good idea to put carbon monoxide sensors inside the house. This is especially true in houses with equipments that could potentially release carbon monoxide when they are malfunctioning. It’s particularly true in the basement and garage, which normally have poor air circulation than the rest of the house. When working with cars and equipments, it is a bad idea to close all windows and doors in our basements. One affordable way to improve air circulation is by installing a few exhaust fans that could force dirty, interior air to the exterior. When using carbon monpxide detector, we should make sure that it works properly.
These sensors are often powered by batteries and we may need to put new batteries once a year. There are different levels of exposure that could affect people. As an example, with mild exposure people will experience flu-like symptoms. This could be indicated by headache, runny nose and sore eyes. With medium exposure, these mild symptoms will be added by dizziness and tiredness. We will feel disoriented and it’s difficult to make rational thoughts. In some cases, we could also have an urge to vomit. If we are working with combustion engines and other equipments that may release carbon dioxide, these symptoms should be a good sign that we should seek fresh air. It’s essential, because we are already one step away from extreme exposure. When people experience extreme exposure, people are more likely to pass out and severe brain damage could happen. At this stage, people will be unconscious and death is imminent if they are not rescued. In this case, if we constantly experience mild or medium symptoms of carbon dioxide poisoning, it would be a good idea to evacuate the house.
After everyone is out, we should assess the situation. At first, we could try to open all the doors, preferably from the outside. After we are sure that the air has circulated better in the interior. We could try to open the windows and get out immediately if we start to experience mild symptoms again. The most important thing is to ventilate the whole house, so we could reclaim our property again. The next thing to do is to try to evaluate the possible source of carbon monoxide emission. It could be a running car in the garage or a malfunctioning water heater in the basement. In this case, we should try to run to the garage, turn off the car and open the garage doors. It is also a good idea to terminate the electricity supply inside the house, if we are not sure about the actual cause of carbon monoxide poisoning.