As your Columbus, Ohio general contractors we like to pass on information that can be helpful to homeowners, this includes helping them create a healthy home. We want to start our series off by talking about Carbon Monoxide.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is known as a silent killer because it is colorless, odorless, tasteless and non-irritating. If the early signs of CO exposure are ignored or the CO concentration is very high, a person may lose consciousness and be unable to escape the danger. CO exposure is the leading cause of death due to poisoning in the United States. However, these deaths are entirely preventable.

CO is present inside and outside, most of the exterior CO is mostly due to the exhaust from vehicles, but as a home renovation company our primary concern is the indoor threat of CO since that is harder to escape. CO in indoor air is related to the presence of appliances which use CO-producing fuels.

Malfunctioning or misused fuel-burning appliances are common sources of CO poisoning in the home. These include a malfunctioning furnace or water heater, non-electric kitchen range used for heat, portable non-electric space heater, or a gas or briquette grill used indoors or in a semi-enclosed space such as a porch. However, any appliance or heat source that produces CO and is not properly vented can cause a build-up of CO in the home. As your residential renovation experts, we suggest you schedule annual maintenance for furnaces and other heat sources to ensure they are properly vented and in good working order.

Symptoms of CO poisoning

Initial symptoms of CO poisoning can be mistaken for flu symptoms. Depending on the air concentration of CO and how long the CO is breathed in, you can experience any of the following symptoms: headaches, dizziness, nausea, weakness, loss of muscle control, shortness of breath, chest tightness, visual changes, sleepiness, fluttering of the heart, redness of the skin, confusion and mild behavioral effects such as slowed reaction time or altered driving skills. CO poisoning should be suspected if more than one member of the family is sick and if those who are sick feel better after being away from the area for a period of time.

What should I do if I suspect CO poisoning?

Rapidly leave the area to get fresh air. If possible, turn off non-electrical appliances in the immediate area. Leave doors open as you exit. Contact the fire department, and the gas company or heating contractor. Remember that you cannot smell CO and, as symptoms of CO poisoning increase, you may become confused and less capable of making decisions that could save your life.

CO Alarms

CO alarms are available for purchase. They are similar to smoke alarms and are designed to provide warning as CO levels in the air approach dangerous levels.

Select a CO alarm which is certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), and is battery-powered or has a battery back-up. CO alarms should be placed according to manufacturer installation instructions. Test the CO alarm frequently, at least twice a year when clocks are adjusted for daylight saving time, and replace dead batteries when necessary. Unlike smoke alarms, CO alarms expire after several years. Replace the alarm as indicated by the manufacturer.

Please remember, a CO alarm is not a substitute for regular maintenance of fuel-burning appliances or equipment.

NJW, your Columbus, Ohio contractors, we want to keep everyone safe, healthy and aware! Contact us today for any of your home renovation needs, we are always certain to operate our equipment within healthy guidelines to keep our homeowners safe!

We currently build in Westerville, Worthington, Whitehall, Upper Arlington, Powell, Pickerington, New Albany, Lancaster, Hilliard, Gahanna, Dublin, Bexley, Columbus and all of Central Ohio. Contact us today!