Dangers of Carbon Monoxide


So you keep up with your regular maintenance with your fireplace and chimney. Did you know there are still carbon monoxide dangers lurking in your home? The most common cause of accidental carbon monoxide exposure is household items such as gas water heaters and furnaces, oil-burning furnaces, charcoal grills, portable generators, and small engines.

Any fire appliances that burn can produce carbon monoxide, and carbon monoxide is very dangerous. It is a silent killer with no smell, no taste, and no sound. No home should have a fire appliance without having a carbon monoxide detector too. At Chief Chimney Services, we want to help you understand all the dangers of carbon monoxide and how to avoid exposure to it.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide (CO)

masonry chimneyCarbon monoxide is very hard to detect, and exposure of carbon monoxide poisoning is also very hard to detect. The symptoms of a person who is exposed are often confused for the common cold or flu. Whether sudden exposure to a large amount or a slow leak, there can be serious permanent damage to your health, if left unchecked. You should pay attention to the following signs and symptoms, as they include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Confusion and memory loss
  • Disorientation
  • Nausea and vomiting

Very serious symptoms of CO poisoning can mimic neurological or psychiatric disorders ranging from convulsions and seizures to paranoia, confusion, and coma. Prolonged exposure will result in permanent organ damage, organ failure, or even death.

Protect Your Family Against CO Poisoning

Exposure to carbon monoxide is highly poisonous. The existence of CO in the air you breathe causes a buildup in the bloodstream, eventually replacing the oxygen in the bloodstream and starving the tissues of oxygen. Since the symptoms are common to the same symptoms caused by viral infections and the common cold, it’s important to note when family members all exhibit the same symptoms.

You should see your family physician for symptoms of cold or flu so that proper tests can identify an illness. If your symptoms can not be diagnosed, this could be caused by carbon monoxide exposure—especially if symptoms subside when away from the home. Symptoms may reappear when you’re back in the home, or when seasonal appliances are used such as a fireplace or furnace. Additionally, you should make sure to never run a small engine indoors—even the garage. Open the garage door before you start your car, lawn mower, power blower, generator, or any other gas-powered tool.

Professional Care for Safer Homes

To protect your family against CO poisoning every day, every home should have a carbon monoxide detector on each level of their home. Follow all user guides and manuals for heat appliances and other household tools and appliances which burn fuel. Have your fireplace, stove, or gas log set serviced by a professional to prevent CO leaks.

A smoky fireplace can cause CO exposure. A damper malfunction, poorly-sized chimney flue, or obstruction is not only a fire hazard, but they are also a CO risk. When any part of your fireplace or chimney is not working, you should schedule an inspection with Chief Chimney Services to protect your family against CO exposure.

Choose Chief Chimney Services for your comprehensive chimney care, and we’ll make sure your chimney is safe. Concerned about a carbon monoxide leak? Call us for an inspection or contact your local fire department now. Call Chief Chimney Services at 631-863-2460 today!



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