United Mechanical Services, Inc.
United Mechanical Services, Inc.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

A person exposed to Carbon Monoxide may complain of dizziness, headache, nausea, sleepiness and similar symptoms. In extreme cases, carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal!

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a dangerous gas produced when gas fired systems are not working correctly. Carbon Monoxide is odorless, colorless and tasteless therefore you can't smell, see or taste Carbon Monoxide. That makes it very dangerous. Carbon Monoxide results from incomplete combustion of a fuel and can build up inside your house or office. Carbon Monoxide is very toxic because it combines with the body's blood and prevents it from absorbing oxygen and can cause severe sickness and even death.

Vents, equipment and chimneys that are not properly installed, used or maintained are the primary cause of Carbon Monoxide problems associated with heating equipment and appliances that use fuel oil, kerosene, propane and natural gas.

Internal combustion engines also produce Carbon Monoxide, even when operating properly. For this reason, a car engine or other type of internal combustion engine should never be operated in an enclosed area, such as a garage.

Burning solid fuels also normally produces some Carbon Monoxide, so it is important that fireplace chimneys are unobstructed and that wood and charcoal are never burned in an indoor area without proper venting. Portable gas grills intended for outside use should never be used indoors, or in a garage or similar building.

When natural gas is used in a properly adjusted burner with an adequate air supply, its primary byproducts are carbon dioxide and water vapor, the same substances that are exhaled when we breathe. However, when not enough air is available to support combustion, less carbon dioxide is produced and Carbon Monoxide is produced instead.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning:

  • Sudden flu-like illness
  • Dizziness, headaches
  • Sleepiness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fluttering or throbbing heartbeat
  • Cherry-red lips
  • Pallor
  • Unconsciousness

If you suspect Carbon Monoxide poisoning:

  • Get the victim out of the house and into fresh air immediately.
  • Call 911 or emergency medical help at once.
  • Get everyone else out of the house.
  • Open the windows.

To prevent Carbon Monoxide poisoning:

  • Be alert for the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors. Call us for details!
  • Never operate internal combustion engines indoors.
  • Never use a charcoal grill indoor.
  • Have all fuel-burning appliances, flues, vents, and chimneys checked regularly.
8901 Willows Rd. Redmond, WA, 98052 • Phone (425) 885-9100 • Fax (425) 881-6487
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