September is National Preparedness month. This post is one of several we’ll do this month about things you can do to make sure you’re prepared in case something happens that is beyond your control. Natural disasters are not predicted, nor controllable, but the way you prepare for and organize for one is. Additionally, we’ll talk about small things you can do to prevent “non-natural” disasters, such as carbon monoxide poisoning. Please read this important post by guest blogger Jeff Dyer:
Don’t invite silent killers into your home
Home is where the heart is. It’s where you share holidays and build family memories.
But your home can also serve as an unsuspecting host to a silent killer. The assassin is actually invited into your home disguised as the accomplice of your trusted common household appliance. This notorious villain has no form; it is odorless, tasteless and causes flu-like symptoms that can lead to brain damage and death.
This killer has a name. It is carbon monoxide. And the cause of death is appropriately named carbon monoxide poisoning. And under normal circumstances the amount of carbon monoxide generated by your oven or your furnace is maintained at safe levels and vented out of your house. But if appliances are somehow damaged or have not been serviced regularly and kept in good working condition can, they can become an unwanted and dastardly visitor in your home. Items that were never intended for indoor use — like a charcoal grill or running your car in a closed garage—can quickly produce dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide. Even swimming behind a motorboat or riding in the back of an enclosed pickup truck can be dangerous.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include:
Loss of consciousness
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be especially dangerous for people who are sleeping or intoxicated. The fumes may be fatal before anyone realizes there’s a problem.
Last year there were almost 1,400 deaths blamed on carbon monoxide poisoning across the US. That number equates to approximately one death in every 2,400 people, or 0.04 percent. Every year there are sad stories in the news about families with limited incomes who are overcome by the fumes from an indoor camp stove or charcoal grill they brought indoors for heat.
The needless deaths were behind the new regulation adopted into the King County residential code recently that requires Carbon Monoxide detectors in all new residences and multiple-family residents in the county. As a special offer to clients of Simply Placed (and friends of Debbie Rosemont), my company—Custom Sound and Security—can install a top-of-the line carbon monoxide detector in your home for only $39.99 (plus tax). Think of the detector as one more contribution of the service Simply Placed provides for its clients, helping people work and live at their best.
One more ominous warning: You can purchase carbon monoxide detector at most hardware stores and home improvement centers. But the key to protecting your loved ones is proper installation. Numerous people with working detectors in our own community have been overcome by toxic fumes in their homes simply because they were installed at the wrong height.
The toxic gas fills a room from the top down, so installing the detector near an outlet (less than 12 inches from the floor) means that people in bunk beds or just standing up in the room could be in serious trouble before the gas mixes with enough air to set off an alarm that is mounted too low. Carbon monoxide does rise act like smoke or the heat from a fire, so simply placing your new detector next to the smoke alarm is also a waste of time (and money).
Whether or not you decide to take me up on my offer, feel free to contact me for some free advice on where and how your carbon monoxide detector should be installed in your home to best protect your family.
And, please, get the word out on this silent killer. This is one crime we can prevent.
Jeff Dyer / Custom Sound and Security / firstname.lastname@example.org / 425-205-9509