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Nationwide News - Take steps to prevent carbon monoxide in the home

Published Nov. 12, 2009 | Discuss this article on Facebook
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Buckeye Farm News

Carbon monoxide (CO) can be a serious problem for you, your family members and your pets. Overexposure to this invisible, odorless and poisonous gas can cause sickness and, in some cases, even death.

Many things can cause build-up of CO in your home, especially fuel-burning appliances that arenít working properly and running a car in an attached garage.

Preventing CO leaks in your home is easy with the tips below. This is a critical time of year to be aware of carbon monoxide risks and to take action to avoid them.

To detect high levels of CO before it becomes a problem:

Install CO alarms near bedrooms and on each floor of your home. Put fresh batteries in the alarms each year.

Have your heating system, vents and/or chimney inspected once a year.

If the CO alarm sounds, press the reset button, call 911 and immediately move to fresh air.

To prevent build-up of CO, never burn charcoal inside your home, garage or vehicle (yes, some people have done this). Also, donít resort to using portable, fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home, garage or vehicle.

Again, the fumes from CO are invisible, odorless, and poisonous, which means you may be overcome by them and lose consciousness without recognizing the symptoms related to the gas thatís causing them.

Common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Higher levels of CO inhalation can cause loss of consciousness and death. People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before ever experiencing symptoms.

Some additional precautions to avoid CO poisoning:

Donít leave a car running in an attached garage, even with the garage door open.

Never repair fuel-burning appliances without the proper knowledge, skills and tools.

Even if you know how to repair fuel-burning appliances, refer to the ownerís manual before starting the repair.

Use a furnace or heater for warming your home, not gas appliances such as ranges, ovens or clothes dryers.

Never operate an unvented, fuel-burning appliance indoors.

Donít use gasoline-powered tools and engines indoors.

Contributed by Nationwide Insurance, which has been sponsored and endorsed by Ohio Farm Bureau since 1926.To learn about valuable Farm Bureau member discounts on insurance for your home, farm or vehicles, contact a nearby Nationwide agent, or visit

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