Lourdes Berindoague was sitting in school one day when everyone began to feel sick.
One of her classmates raised her hand to answer a question and fell from her chair. Another girl began to vomit. A third student went to the bathroom, where he fainted.
“I was scared,” Berindoague told CBC News earlier this month. “I didn’t know if it would happen to me.”
What was happening was a carbon monoxide leak, which sent 50 students and staff members at Lourdes’ school — École des Découvreurs in Montreal – to the hospital.
Fortunately, everyone at the school appears to be OK. But not everyone who encounters carbon monoxide is as lucky.
Known as “the silent killer,” carbon monoxide is a gas that forms when fuels such as wood and oil don’t fully burn off, creating colorless, odorless, invisible fumes.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to detect carbon monoxide leaks in your home or business and how Montgomery County gas safety systems can help protect against this deadly threat.
How can I spot carbon monoxide poisoning?
Carbon monoxide – often referred to as CO — is deadly because it prevents oxygen from circulating through our bodies. Depending on how much CO you’ve inhaled, the symptoms might include:
- Sleepiness or weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in your chest
- Fluttering of the heart
- Slow reaction times
Inhaling high levels of CO can quickly cause unconsciousness and suffocation.
It’s easy to think you might have the flu during the early stages of carbon monoxide poisoning. But there are a few critical differences:
- You notice the symptoms manifest – or seem worse – when a fuel-burning device is activated.
- The symptoms only show up at certain places. When you move away from that place, the symptoms vanish.
- With the flu, it typically takes a few days for the virus to move from person to person. With carbon monoxide poisoning, everyone will feel the symptoms at the same time.
How can I prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?
In addition to installing gas safety systems, Montgomery County home and business owners can protect themselves against CO poisoning with these measures:
- Have a qualified technician inspect your heating system, water heater and any other fuel-burning appliance in your home once a year. Most CO poisoning cases happen due to malfunctioning appliances in the home.
- Another common cause of CO poisoning: people misusing appliances, whether that means trying to heat their home with a gas stove or running a generator indoors. Grills and generators should only be used outside.
- Never allow your car to idle inside your garage. During winter, make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t blocked by ice or snow.
- If you’re a boat owner, be sure you’ve identified the location of the engine and exhaust outlets. Stay away from the back deck or swim platforms while the engine is operating. If you smell exhaust, you’re breathing in carbon monoxide.
- Make sure all gas appliances have appropriate ventilation. If you detect a strange odor from a gas refrigerator, get it checked right away, as this could signal a carbon monoxide leak.
Montgomery County gas safety systems from Holicong Security
When they need reliable gas safety systems, Montgomery County residents and business owners call on Holicong Security. Our experts are dedicated to providing a safer environment for your home or your company. Contact us today to learn about all our fire and gas safety systems.