You could be breathing in a poisonous gas without even realizing it. Carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless, so it can be easy to inhale without your knowledge. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) reports that over 200 people die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by problems with venting toxic gases out of the home from heating appliances, including your fireplace. Additionally, about 10,000 injuries related to carbon monoxide poisoning are also reported each year. How can you avoid the dangers of this toxic gas? One way is to have your chimney swept and inspected every year from a CSIA-certified chimney sweep, such as one from Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service. We will ensure that your chimney contains no blockages that could force carbon monoxide back into your home. We will also look for damage to your chimney liner that could also allow this poisonous gas to leak into your house. To help you understand the dangers of carbon monoxide, we would like to tell you more about what this gas can do to you as well as the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
What does carbon monoxide do to my body?
Besides making you sick and causing organ damage, too much carbon monoxide in your body can kill you. Unfortunately, the hemoglobin in your blood would rather latch on to carbon monoxide than oxygen. This causes the toxic gas to replace oxygen in your blood, which then causes your cells to suffocate.
What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
If you have low levels of this type of poisoning, you will experience headaches, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness. The problem is that these symptoms are just like those of the common cold or flu, so it can be difficult for a doctor to correctly diagnose carbon monoxide poisoning. If you are suffering from these symptoms for over two weeks, you will want to ask your doctor to test your blood to see if carbon monoxide is present. When caught early, you can quickly recover from this poisoning with the necessary treatment. If neglected, you could continue breathing in carbon monoxide, which can cause organ failure and possibly even death.
Other than having my chimney swept and inspected annually, what else can I do to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning?
Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service strongly recommends that you install carbon monoxide detector alarms just as you do smoke alarms — in the same rooms as your heating appliances, outside of each bedroom, and on every level of your home. If your alarm ever does go off, you should immediately evacuate your home. Once you have made sure everyone has safely gotten outside, you should then call emergency services to your home. Do not go back into your house until the emergency responders say it is safe to return.
Since safety is the top priority of Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service, we want to help you avoid the dangers of carbon monoxide. Contact us to schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection today.