Home & Garden

Protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends every home have at least one carbon monoxide alarm with an audible warning signal installed near the sleeping area.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe carbon monoxide (CO) as an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death, produced any time a fossil fuel is burned, including by cars and trucks, small gasoline engines, stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood and gas ranges and heating systems.

High levels of carbon monoxide inhalation can cause loss of consciousness and death. “People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before ever experiencing symptoms,” the CDC warns. “Red blood cells pick up CO quicker than they pick up oxygen. If there is a lot of CO in the air, the body may replace oxygen in blood with CO. This blocks oxygen from getting into the body, which can damage tissues and result in death.”

First Alert has introduced a new combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarm with voice alerts for the presence of either, as well as the location of the hazard within the home. Studies have shown that children will respond quicker to a voice alert rather than a beeping alert.

To protect yourself and your family, install a carbon monoxide alarm on each level of the home, including the basement, and outside all sleeping areas. Additional information can be found at www.firstalert.com and www.kidde.com.

C. Dwight Barnett is a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors. Send questions to C. Dwight Barnett, Evansville Courier & Press, P.O. Box 268, Evansville, Ind. 47702 or email him at d.Barnett@insightbb.com.