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Carbon monoxide safety reminders

You rely on your propane appliances to keep your family safe and comfortable every season – and if you invest money to get routine professional maintenance and use quality propane gas, they will usually do just that for years to come.

But no appliance that runs on an energy source is 100 percent safe; in fact, an appliance that burns fuel of any kind (such as propane, heating oil, gasoline, coal, or even wood) will produce carbon monoxide – a dangerous and potentially deadly gas – as a byproduct.

In small amounts, carbon monoxide (often referred to by its chemical formula “CO”) is harmless. But as it builds, CO can become an increasingly serious threat to your health and safety.

If you don’t know much about CO, don’t worry – we can help. Here are six questions and answers about the gas to help keep your family safe in your North Carolina home. If you have any more, feel free to contact us today – at Parker Gas, your safety is always our #1 priority!

Carbon Monoxide Q&A

  1. What is carbon monoxide? – Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas produced by burning fuel, including heating oil, gasoline, coal, wood, charcoal, kerosene, propane, or natural gas. In high amounts, carbon monoxide can cause CO poisoning, which can lead to illness, unconsciousness, or, in extreme cases, death.
  2. What causes CO buildup? – CO buildup usually occurs for two reasons: poor ventilation or damaged / improperly maintained heating equipment.
  3. What are the symptoms of CO poisoning? – Symptoms of CO poisoning vary depending on the amount of exposure to the gas.
    • In mild cases, symptoms include nausea, fatigue, headaches and dizziness
    • In moderate cases – symptoms include severe headaches, drowsiness, and disorientation
    • In extreme cases, symptoms include unconsciousness, convulsions, and, in rare cases, death.
  4. What should I do if I experience CO poisoning symptoms? – If you experience CO poisoning symptoms,
    • Get fresh air immediately – open windows and leave the house.
    • Call 911
    • Report your symptoms to your doctor
    • Service faulty fuel-burning appliances before using them again
  5. What should you do if the CO alarm sounds? – If your CO alarm sounds, assume there is a buildup of the gas in your home. Take the following actions immediately:
    • Leave the house
    • Call 911
    • DO NOT reenter the premises until getting the OK from the fire department
    • Service faulty fuel-burning appliances before using them again
  6. How can I avoid CO problems in my home? – To avoid problems with carbon monoxide, take these five precautionary steps:
    • Learn the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning, and teach your family what to do if they experience them.
    • Maintain all fuel-burning appliances every year
    • Install CO (and propane leak) detectors in your home.
    • Repair any faulty appliances immediately!
    • Consider an upgrade on older propane appliances.

Stay safe this heating season! If you have any questions about propane safety in your North Carolina home, contact us any time – your safety is always our priority!