Carbon Monoxide - The Silent Killer
Did you know that more than fifty thousand people visit the emergency room each year, and of those people 400 will die from carbon monoxide poisoning? There are even rare occasions where carbon monoxide is used as a suicide measure. Often times the individual will sit inside a running car with nothing allowing air circulation.
Carbon monoxide can be very hard to detect as it is colorless and odorless (hence the name "silent killer"). Symptoms can be very similar to every day ailments: headache, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, and other flu like symptoms. It can represent the flu without the fever. It can also mask itself so that you feel better when you leave an environment. So, if you are feeling ill inside, and you go outside and find your symptoms going away, then it may be CO poisoning. Carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin and prevents those cells from carrying oxygen. Those with weakened immune systems (such as elderly and infants) can have an increased risk of getting sick from carbon monoxide. It can be fatal.
What kinds of things can emit carbon monoxide? Portable space heaters, gas heaters, an old furnace, or a gas oven can all emit the gas. You can also risk exposure if you use outdoor camping related products indoors; such as a camping stove, or charcoal grill.
Adequate ventilation is the key when using one of these types of entities. It is also wise to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home (or business) when using these types of appliances.
*photo from CDC website
Vacation Proof Your Home!
It's almost summertime! Everyone is thinking of getting away while the kids are out of school, or traveling in this wonderful weather.
What ruins a vacation? Coming home to a disaster in your house! Maybe a pipe had burst, a storm had flooded your basement, or a fire had started while you were gone. Suddenly it seems your relaxing time away has just disappeared.
Here are a few tips to make sure that you have an enjoyable time ALL summer.
- Have a TRUSTED friend or family member either stay, or check your home while you are gone. You want to make sure you have someone that you know will take care of your home.
- If you don't have someone staying there, turn your water off! You won't be needing it.
- Double check that your furnace is running well. If your AC seems to be lacking in the heat, you might want to have someone check it out before you leave it to the smoldering hot summers here in the Midwest.
- Do a walk around your home and make sure your spigots are working! You don't want to leave them on, and you don't want them to leak.
- Check your stove! Make sure that all your appliances are working properly, and that your stove isn't left on.
- Unplug what you don't need. You might want to check and unplug the power strip to your entertainment center. Most people put it behind their TV's with different electronics plugged in, and then forget about them. If you have a power surge during a storm, that may cause a fire.
- If your basement is prone to flooding make sure that anything important is off the ground or in plastic tubs. A storm could hit anytime during the summer and you want to make sure your possessions are safe.
- Lastly, double or even triple check your home. There is no harm in being over-prepared for anything.
If you do come home to a disaster give us a call at SERVPRO of Rockford and we will ease your mind by making it "Like it never even happened."