Though you can’t see or smell carbon monoxide (CO), it can be extremely dangerous. Prevention is the key to avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning, so everyone in your home should learn more about its sources and safety.

First of all, make sure you know the sources of carbon monoxide. Resulting from the incomplete combustion of wood or fossil fuels like kerosene, gasoline, charcoal, propane, natural gas or oil, carbon monoxide most often comes from fuel-burning appliances, especially furnaces and water heaters, and from cars left idling in a garage.

It’s important to have your home equipment like heating systems and water heaters checked regularly. By scheduling annual tune-ups with Blind & Sons, you’ll know your equipment is running safely and efficiently, giving your family peace of mind.

In addition to maintaining your equipment, installing carbon monoxide detectors is essential. These detectors trigger an alarm based on an accumulation of carbon monoxide over time. Keep in mind that carbon monoxide detectors require a continuous power supply, so if the power cuts off then the alarm becomes ineffective. You may want to look for detectors that offer back-up battery power.

Carbon monoxide detectors should be placed at least five feet above the floor or on the ceiling, but never near a fireplace or a flame-producing appliance. It’s best to install a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home, and it’s especially crucial near bedrooms.

If one of your detectors is triggered, make sure everyone in your home gets outside for fresh air, and then determine if anyone is experiencing symptoms like nausea, headaches or dizziness. If so, get medical attention right away. If not, ventilate your house and turn off all possible sources of CO, then be sure to have a professional inspect your appliances, heating equipment and chimney as soon as possible.

Keeping these tips in mind can help protect your family from an odorless, tasteless, invisible danger.

Sources: Encyclopedia of Home Improvements, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency