Be Aware of Carbon Monoxide in Your Home

tom-Furness-cut-away8z Rentals’ goals are to maintain and keep our rental units up to date and safe for our tenants and owners. Recently, we encountered an emergency situation at one of our managed rental properties.

An owner had just moved out of her townhome after having lived there for 10 years and Patti had rented it out to a small family with a dog. Patti, the leasing agent for Northern Colorado had just been there to check them in and check all the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. None were beeping and all were functioning correctly. The tenants had been moved in for a total of 24 hours before calling the 8z Rentals emergency line late Sunday night. They said that the heat was not working, the carbon monoxide detector was beeping and the dog was acting weird. It seemed like the carbon monoxide detector must have been hit during the move or maybe the battery just died. We told the tenants to stay with their friends for one night just in case and we would have it checked out first thing in the morning. As it turns out the heat exchanger in the furnace must have coincidentally broken exactly on the day they moved in.

The HVAC technician said the CO detector had saved their lives!

We want to educate you on the importance of having functioning carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

During these colder months, our homes will soon be tightly sealed and our furnaces will be working to keep to keep us warm. With today’s tightly sealed and well-insulated homes, carbon monoxide can accumulate to hazardous levels in a short period of time. Therefore, it’s critical to have working carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide (also known as CO) is produced by the incomplete combustion of the fossil fuels – gas, oil, coal and wood used in boilers, engines, oil burners, gas fires, water heaters, solid fuel appliances and open fires.

Dangerous amounts of CO can accumulate when, as a result of poor installation, poor maintenance or failure or damage to an appliance in service, the fuel is not burned properly, or when rooms are poorly ventilated and the Carbon Monoxide is unable to escape.

Carbon Monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). 1,500 people die annually due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, and additional 10,000 seek medical attention. Because CO poisoning can resemble
other common ailments, it’s important to recognize the symptoms and seek medical attention if you think you or a family member has been sickened by carbon monoxide.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include:

  • Dull headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness

Installing Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Proper placement of a CO detector is important. It is important to have at least one carbon monoxide detector, near the sleeping area/s, where it will wake you if you are asleep. We recommend having a CO detector on every level of your home.

What to do when you hear the Carbon Monoxide Detector

The first thing –DO NOT ignore the beeping of the alarm.

If you or others in your household are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned previously follow these directions:

Call 9-1-1 immediately.

Go to a hospital immediately.

DO NOT re-enter the home until emergency services has indicated it is safe to return.

If no one is showing signs or symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning follow these directions:

  • Open all windows to get air ventilation.
  • Turn off any appliances such as your gas-fired furnace or a running generator.
  • After the home has gotten ventilation, reset the carbon monoxide detectors.
  • If the detectors do not sound again, call a qualified technician to inspect and repair any problem.
  • Should the alarm sound a second time (and no one is showing signs of CO poisoning) vent the home and call your local fire department. Emergency personnel will advise you when it is safe to return home.

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