You may not know it, but in the United States alone more than 20,000 people are accidentally poisoned by carbon monoxide every year and about 500 of these people die. When our homes are filled with this odorless, tasteless gas, we are not safe from Carbon Monoxide Dangers because it goes undetected unless carbon monoxide detectors are installed at specific intervals.
JAMA recently published a study that shows drywall is no match for carbon monoxide. The gas goes right through walls and ceilings to reach everyone in the home. Although 25 states require homes to have carbon monoxide alarms installed, 10 of these exempt residences with no indoor source for producing carbon monoxide. Some toxicologists worry that this may result in a false sense of security and cause even more deaths from accidental exposure.
Suppose you live in an apartment and one of your neighbors decides to use his charcoal grill inside his unit. The carbon monoxide produced will not only affect the neighbor, but once it is inside it can go anywhere in the building. That leaves everyone at risk for Carbon Monoxide Dangers. Unless you have a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home, you and your family might get sick or even die.
To demonstrate the problem, let’s take a look at what happened to Mecklenburg County North Carolina in 2002. North Carolina had an ordinance requiring carbon monoxide detectors only in homes with carbon monoxide producing appliances. All-electric homes were exempt if they had detached garages. However, when an ice storm hit that year most power in the area was cut off and some residents turned to their own devices to heat their homes and cook. Without the right detectors installed, generators placed incorrectly, inappropriate cooking and heating equipment caused 96.2 of all the carbon monoxide poisoning that took place during that time.
It didn’t take long for the Mecklenburg County officials to change things and the following year all homes were required to install battery backed-up carbon monoxide alarms.
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