Imagine this scene is playing out one night in the living room of your Waterford, MI or Oxford, MI home. The family is together binge watching—insert latest streaming sensation here—on the big screen. Your child looks at you and says, “Mom I have a headache that just started and seemed to come from nowhere.” You nod in sympathy and say something like I’m sure it will go away. A minute or two later your husband gets up for a snack and stumbles a bit saying he feels dizzy. Then suddenly you realize your heart rate has sped up and you are a little bit short of breath.
COINCIDENCE OR SOMETHING MORE SINISTER?
It’s possible these are all coincidences that mean nothing. It’s also possible the entire family is suffering symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. If this imaginary scenario, or something similar, ever happens to you Kotz Heating, Cooling & Plumbing urges you to get out of the house immediately and get into fresh air. If the symptoms quickly disappear, there is a very good chance your home is filled with deadly CO gas that is odorless, tasteless, and colorless.
LEARN THE WARNING SIGNS
November is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month, and the purpose of this article is to increase your CO awareness by making you familiar with the warning signs that can save your life. While we’ve already mentioned some of them, let’s take a more complete look at the symptoms of CO poisoning starting with the early stages of exposure:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
Here is another point of CO awareness you may not know about: Many of these symptoms can be chronic and occur with non-lethal levels of carbon monoxide gas. In fact, new research shows there can be long term health effects from CO exposure even if it never gets to a level that could kill you.
THINGS CAN GET SERIOUS IN A HURRY
As the concentration of carbon monoxide increases, the symptoms become far more serious including:
- Chest pain
- Loss of hearing
- Blurry vision
- Loss of consciousness or coma
- Respiratory failure
- Cardiac arrest
The problem with CO awareness is that when you don’t recognize the early symptoms, the more serious symptoms can be physically or mentally debilitating. This makes it impossible to respond leading to a deadly conclusion.
SEASONAL MAINTENANCE CAN SAVE LIVES
Kotz Heating, Cooling & Plumbing wants to emphasize any fuel burning device can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, but the greatest risk is during the heating season, often because of problems with a gas furnace. That’s why seasonal maintenance is so important. Our Kotz technicians will always check for unusual levels of CO gas when the furnace is running and carefully inspect the heat exchanger for any cracks. Those cracks are one of the leading causes of poisoning. Don’t take chances. During this Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month, call Kotz to make your appointment. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to learn more about the services we offer in Waterford, MI and Oxford, MI.