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Carbon Monoxide: an Overview

How Your Chimney Matters

Everyone knows that you have to keep your chimney maintained, but many tend to put off routine work a little longer than acceptable.  When this happens it could lead to damages in your home or even problems with your health.  Advanced Chimney Techniques and their team of professional technicians are here to help you with all of your chimney maintenance needs, including chimney sweeps and the annual routine inspections.

What is Carbon Monoxide and How Can the Gas Be Harmful to Me?

Carbon Monoxide Image - Columbia MO - Advanced Chimney

If there is an obstruction in your chimney, it can prevent harmful gases from properly exiting your home.

Carbon monoxide is a gas that cannot be seen or smelled and that is extremely toxic because it competes with oxygen levels in the blood stream.  CO levels can fill up a room so quickly that it can become fatal before you are even aware.  Small levels of exposure are less harmful and have mild side effects, leaving you with symptoms similar to the flu, such as nausea, dizziness, headaches, and fatigue.  Depending on how long you are exposed to the gas and your age, the symptoms may vary.  People with existing heart problems may begin to experience chest pains.  In cases of extreme exposure, symptoms can include fatality.

How Do You Diagnose Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

If multiple people in the same area have the same symptoms as listed above, you should be cautious and get the place checked.  If you feel you have been poisoned, make your way to a physician.  For minimal symptoms they may be able to treat you in office, but for more extreme cases you may be sent to a hospital to receive oxygen to normalize levels.

 How Can I Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Carbon Monoxide can build up through the use of everyday appliances, such as generators, vehicles, and also your chimney.  If you feel that the space you are in has rising levels of CO, you should evacuate immediately.  Even if you do manage to turn off what is emitting the gas, the room will not clear out immediately.  Now, you can install CO alarms inside your home to let you know that dangerous levels are rising in your home.  To get the best results, spread multiple alarms throughout the home in different parts and levels.  You can also connect all of them as a set so that when one sounds, they will all sound.  These are not to be used as smoke detectors, but should be check periodically.