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The $20 Item That Could Save Your Life

Posted on January 24, 2019 by Chris Lancaster

At Lancaster Brothers Heating and Cooling, we like to keep our customers’ best interest in mind. That’s why we’re sending out this reminder. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, go out and get one today. It’s such a simple and affordable home safety device. You can pick one up for about $20 at Walmart, Target, Home Depot or Lowes. They plug right into your wall. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Stay safe, and equip your home with one today.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Deaths

Sadly, around 430 people lose their lives every year due to CO poisoning and another 50,000 are sent to the emergency room. It is a real danger. The number of cases rise in the winter because furnaces, wood-burning fireplaces, and generators are all common sources of this deadly gas. Gas ranges, charcoal grills, and cars also produce CO gas. Power outages, like the ones we had after the January snowstorm, are especially dangerous because more people are using portable generators inside to stay warm. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, and almost impossible to detect and that’s what makes it so dangerous. If you happen to have a CO detector that plugs into the wall, be aware that it must have fresh backup batteries to operate without electricity. Always keep your batteries up to date.

Symptoms of CO Poisoning

CO poisoning is tricky because its symptoms mimic flu symptoms. Early symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, and nausea. Longer exposure will result in chest pain, vomiting, and confusion. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention right away. Call 911 or go to the emergency room if necessary.

Check Your CO Detector Every Six Months

Of course, you hope to never need your carbon monoxide detector, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about it once it’s installed. The CDC recommends changing the batteries every six months or using a model that plugs into the wall that has a battery backup in case of power outages. Make this a routine part of your home maintenance by changing the batteries at the same time you change the batteries in your smoke detector. This very small effort could save your life in the event of a carbon monoxide leak. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, now is the time to get one. If you do have one, make sure the batteries are fresh.

CO Poisoning Prevention Tips

Here are some prevention tips directly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website:

  • Change the batteries in your CO detector every six months. If you don’t have a battery-powered or battery back-up CO detector, buy one soon.
  • Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
  • Keep vents and flues free of debris. Debris can block ventilation lines.
  • Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
  • Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.
  • Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.
  • Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open.
  • If you suspect CO poisoning, call 911 or a healthcare professional right away.

Stay warm and comfortable this winter with Lennox Signature Systems.

LennoxIf you think your current heating system is too old, you’ll need a new furnace. We recommend a Lennox Home Comfort System for its high quality, reliability, and energy efficiency. Interested? Call us and we’ll fill you in on the great deals going on with Lennox.

If you would like a carbon monoxide detector installed or a furnace tune-up and safety check, Lancaster Brothers will be glad to help you. Please call our office at 913-851-3399 or contact us here.


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