Neurology

Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detection

Female lying in bed with headache

Learn the dangers of carbon monoxide build-up within your home or office and how to prevent its dangerous effects.

Carbon Monoxide Sources

Common household appliances can emit a toxic orderless gas called carbon monoxide (CO). Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of burning fuels, including gas, wood, propane, or charcoal. Appliances and engines that aren’t well-vented can cause the gas to rise to dangerous levels. A tight space makes the buildup worse.

Carbon Monoxide Poison Symptoms

At sustained CO concentrations above 150 to 200 ppm, disorientation, unconsciousness, and death are possible. Inhalation of carbon monoxide is a life-threatening emergency. Get fresh air and call emergency medical services (EMS) right away. In most locations within the United States, 911 contacts them. Within some unincorporated counties, there may be a different number.

Warning Symptoms
  • Headache.
  • Weakness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Confusion.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Loss of muscle control.
  • Loss of consciousness.

Neurological Post-Recovery Symptoms

In severe cases of inhalation, the discharging doctor may warn of potential side effects.

  • Memory loss.
  • Personality changes.
  • Movement problems.

Carbon Monoxide Poison Prevention

Many water heaters are outdoors. Indoor water heaters need special ventilation to draw gases outside. Attic forced-air heaters likewise need proper ventilation. A wood-burning fireplace with a blocked chimney can fill a room with carbon monoxide. Heating a home with an open gas oven is also a hazard. For these reasons, a licensed HVAC technician should perform installation and maintenance.

Do not run gasoline-powered automobiles when the door between the attached garage is open. Nor should you run the engine within the enclosed garage.

In addition to the common appliances listed, avoid burning combustible fuels inside, including gasoline, propane, and charcoal. Any of these might power backup generators during a power outage. The generator should be far enough outdoors that the fumes do not enter the home or office through a window or door.

Beyond the cautious use of appliances, it is wise to install carbon monoxide detectors within areas where people congregate. Some devices detect both smoke and CO gas. Laws may require landlords to have such devices within units they lease or rent out.

There are many brands to choose from, such as the X-Sense 2-in-1 Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm. Pick between the interconnected RF models that sync with one another or the Wi-Fi models that send alerts to your smartphone. If the Wi-Fi becomes disconnected, alarms still sound alarms without sending an alert to a smartphone app. Other brands and models offer wired connections or smartphone connectivity.

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To support the writing of useful articles about neurology, ClinicalPosters sells human anatomy charts, scientific posters, and other products online. You may sponsor specific articles or remit a small donation.

ClinicalPosters sells human anatomy charts, scientific posters, and other products online to offset expense of the writing useful articles about neurology. Slide extra posters into DeuPair Frames without removing from the wall.

ClinicalPosters sells human anatomy charts, scientific posters, and other products online. You may remit a small donation.

You can support the writing of useful articles about neurology by sponsoring specific articles or remitting a small donation.

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