You take steps to protect you home from intruders, fire and other disasters, but there could be other unseen dangers lurking in your home. These dangers include carbon monoxide and radon.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas, which is why it can be so deadly; rarely do its victims have any warning, but low levels of poisoning cause flu-like symptoms. Gas hot water heaters, gas and oil furnaces, fireplaces and wood stoves all generate carbon monoxide as do any other appliances that burn gas or solids. Cars also generate the deadly gas, causing many deaths and injuries when people warm up their car motors in closed garages.
Radon, much like carbon monoxide, is a gas that you can’t smell or see. It is a radioactive gas emitted through the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. It’s also everywhere as part of the natural environment, but usually in insignificant amounts. Since the gas comes to the earth’s surface from underground, it may build up to harmful levels in poorly ventilated basements. It enters your home through such small spaces and openings as unsealed crawl spaces, cracks and wall/floor joints in the basement, floor drains, sump pumps and other plumbing penetrations.
To protect your home and family from these unseen dangers, purchase detectors and home testing kits. If you suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, radon, natural gas or any other harmful gas, call 911 to report it. Also, be sure you know the warning signs of carbon monoxide and radon poisoning. If anyone in your home experiences any of these symptoms, ventilate your home and seek medical attention immediately:
– A persistent cough that doesn’t get better
– Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing or hoarseness
– Recurring bouts of such respiratory infections as pneumonia or bronchitis
– Nausea or vomiting
– Dizziness, fainting or fatigue
(Information courtesy of Today’s Living)