Carbon Monoxide: A Silent Killer
-Shortness of Breath
-Loss of Consciousness
You can't see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels, it can kill a person in minutes. Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide (or CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, and propane burn incompletely. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, each year more than 400 American die from unintentional CO poisoning. It is estimated another 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning. All people and animals are at risk for CO poisoning, with some groups-including unborn babies, infants and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems-being more susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide.
An excess of CO, leading to CO poisoning, can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes drying or idling cars left running in garages. Taking some basic, precautionary steps can help eliminate the risk or carbon monoxide poisoning. Protect yourself by reviewing the following tips provided by the United States Fire Administration.
- Have fuel-burning appliances, like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves inspected by a trained professional every year.
- Open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace. Never use your oven or stove top to heat your home.
- Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid CO poisoning. Keep the venting for exhaust clear and unblocked.
- If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle or other fueling engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not blocked with snow, ice, or other materials.
- Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.
- Only us barbecue grills outside, away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings. Some grills can produce CO gas. Never use grills inside the home or garage, even if the doors are open.
- Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the home.
National Preparedness Month
SERVPRO Recognizes National Preparedness Month with a Reminder to Home and Business Owners:
“Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”
Local disaster restoration specialist offers no-cost tools to help property owners prepare a comprehensive emergency readiness plan
Lititz, PA (Grassroots Newswire) August 23, 2017 - September is National Preparedness Month (http://www.ready.gov/September), an annual event sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to raise awareness about the importance of preparing—in advance—for the unexpected. In support of this initiative, Donna Barrett, owner of SERVPRO® of Lancaster East, encourages Lititz property owners to take the following two steps now to protect their family, home, and business in the aftermath of a disaster.
- Review and update your emergency preparedness plan, including business and life continuity plans. If you don’t yet have a plan, use the tools provided by FEMA to get started. (https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan)
- Collect and store time-critical information, like the location of shutoff valves, fire suppression system controls, and emergency contact numbers electronically, where it is immediately available to assist first responders.
“Evacuation plans and emergency supply kits help you survive a disaster, but a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan helps you recover from a disaster,” said Barrett. “The most effective response to any emergency is a fast response. That’s why having critical system and contact information at your fingertips is so important. A quick and effective response helps minimize repairs and downtime, helping both businesses and families get back on track in less time, with less stress.”
SERVPRO offers tools for both commercial and residential property owners to help them minimize damage and recover quickly from emergencies. The SERVPRO READY app stores essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes. Both home and business owners can download the free app at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp. Local business owners can take an additional preparedness step by designating SERVPRO of Lancaster East as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider. SERVPRO professionals will conduct a no-cost assessment of the facility and assist the owner in completing a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) and storing that profile in the READY app.
“Rapid response from a disaster cleanup and restoration specialist can help the property owner evaluate options, start the insurance process, and take the right steps from the beginning to bring their property back to normal,” said Barrett. “Even in the confusion and panic that often surround a disaster, a property owner or manager using the SERVPRO READY app can reach out for expert help right from the scene, using a cell phone.”
SERVPRO® of Lancaster East specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO® of Lancaster East, please contact Donna Barrett at (717) 519-0767 or SERVPRO8837@comcast.net.