Carbon Monoxide Concerns

The Center for Disease Control calls carbon monoxide poisoning the silent killer. If you have an old furnace or broken non-electric appliances in your home, carbon monoxide can be a real threat to your family’s health. Prolonged exposure to the odorless, tasteless and colorless gas can result in brain damage and even death.

Common causes of CO poisoning:

Carbon monoxide is emitted when materials burn. It’s a natural byproduct of gas and propane powered furnaces, wood-burning stoves, non-electric space heaters and gas or propane stoves and ovens. Vehicles also emit the gas, which can build to deadly levels if trapped in a garage or other closed space.

Household appliances that produce carbon monoxide should be equipped with ventilation systems that keep the dangerous gas from accumulating in your home. The trouble arises with aging appliances that can break and emit deadly gas into your home’s interior.  It is important to remember that a match, cigarette, or incense give off CO, not just appliances.

Symptoms:

Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often mistaken for the flu. It’s important that if you start to notice some of these symptoms, especially if they become chronic, you go to a doctor right away and request emergency help from Colorado Springs Utilities or the fire department.

Early symptoms can include:
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

Prevention:

Colorado law requires that all residences using fuel-burning heat sources or appliances, or possessing an attached garage sold or rented after 2009 be equipped with a carbon monoxide detector. The detector must be installed within 15 feet of entrances to any sleeping area.

What the ERC can do:

We will send an experienced auditor to your home to evaluate the carbon monoxide risk and can assist income-qualified residents in repairing damaged appliances and sometimes in replacing them.

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