Carbon monoxide, also known as the silent killer, is a very common, but dangerous heating byproduct in homes and businesses all over the world. Heating a space is important, but it can be dangerous when you consider the byproduct. A good HVAC system will draw carbon monoxide away from a home, business, or any other heated building, making it safe for inhabitants. However, leaks and malfunctions can occur which can be dangerous when exposure occurs, especially prolonged exposure.
However, there are ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and to detect it as well. There are even measuring instruments available to help ensure that the carbon monoxide levels on a site are at a safe level for everyone.
Steps to Take If Carbon Monoxide Levels Are Too High
Exposure usually occurs due to improper ventilation indoors. Vulnerable appliances and areas include HVAC systems that run on gas, gas dryers, gas fireplaces, and other systems.
If the levels inside a building are too high, the windows and doors should be opened immediately to improve air circulation and ventilation. Also, the premises should be evacuated if it hasn’t been done already. Those on the premises to make repairs should wear protective gear, including a breathing apparatus, in order to protect themselves.
Next, the problem will need to be repaired by gas professionals that handle carbon monoxide problems. Usually, gas lines are also shut off to the building for a time, as well.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Below are some of the common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Symptoms should improve once exiting the building after a few minutes or hours, depending on the severity of the exposure. Re-entry, on the other hand, would likely cause the symptoms to worsen.
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should rule out carbon monoxide first and take all necessary precautions, including opening doors and windows, if possible, and exiting the building, followed by contacting emergency services.
There are levels of exposure that range from safe to dangerous. The right carbon monoxide measuring equipment can help determine the safety of a building and the need for repairs and circumvention.
1-9 PPM: Normal / It is ok to enter.
10-34 PPM: Moderate / It is ok to enter to find the source of carbon monoxide.
35-99 PPM: High, but not imminently life threatening.
Over 100 PPM: DANGEROUS, EVACUATE HOME IMMEDIATELY.