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What’s that smell?

January 28, 2011

Can you smell that?  Point is that you can’t.

Carbon Monoxide is a odorless, tasteless, invisible,  highly toxic gas that can kill.  We ended 2010 with a death and 8 injured on New Years Eve down in Middlebury. The cause was a leaky propane heater, which was reported to have multiple cracks in the system. Here is a printable fact sheet about it:  Carbon Monoxide .

If you want, you can  print it out and give it to those who you think might benefit from the information.  Or simply send them a link to the site and they can click on the link and get the PDF for themselves.

Here are the symptoms to mild exposure:

  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • and shortness of breath.

Sounds a lot like the flu or food poisoning or other illness, so the symptoms can be mistaken for something else.

Installing a CO detector in your home, on each floor and in sleeping areas is a good way to prevent CO poisoning.   Test the alarms monthly and change the batteries yearly.  Replace the detectors every 5 years.

If the alarm does go off, don’t ignore it.  If no one is feeling ill:   turn off appliances and other sources of combustion.  Open doors and windows to get some fresh air in….even if it is below zero!   Then call a qualified professional to investigate the build-up.

If anyone at all is feeling ill or acting really out of sorts… evacuate all occupants immediately, call 911 and tell them about potential exposure and the number of people who are affected.    Do not re-enter the home without the OK of emergency services.  And once the emergency is over, call a qualified professional to investigate the build-up.

There is a bit more to prevention, which can be found on the Carbon Monoxide fact sheet.   Now that you are thinking about it, go and check those CO detectors.

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