Carbon monoxide is a potentially fatal gas that occurs when there is incomplete combustion of burning fuels.
It is found in the smoke and emissions from engines, as a by-product of a furnace heating your home, in a fireplace chimney, and from the burning of cigarettes. It is also found in our air naturally in small quantities because of forest fires, building fires, volcanic eruptions and other emissions from factories and industry.
Any appliance that uses fuel of any kind has the potential to create carbon monoxide gasses that then stay in the air we breathe. Lawnmowers, cars, planes, trains and all other modes of transportation can emit this potentially dangerous gas into the air, as can barbeques, generators and the kitchen stove.
The level of gas that these all create isn’t enough to get most of us sick, but when the appliance or tool is broken, it can leak more carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. It is then that the potential for serious harm or death can occur from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, colorless and odorless gas that is made up of one carbon and one oxygen atom bonded together. It is only slightly lighter than air, so the concentrations of it are found in all the air that we breathe, not just nearer to the floor or higher towards the ceiling. This makes it more dangerous to humans and animals who breathe the air that it is mixing with.
There are many occupations that have a higher exposure rate to carbon monoxide. Paint stores, pottery studios that have kilns and people working in construction, at ice rinks or even those who do landscaping with power tools work closely with items that produce carbon monoxide. It is crucial to keep all tools and machinery working optimally to avoid a carbon monoxide leak that can lead to illness and even death if it is not treated quickly.
Carbon monoxide is not something to be taken lightly. So many items in our daily lives have the potential to break down without our knowledge and fill the air with this potentially deadly gas.
The use of carbon monoxide alarms is a great way to keep tabs on the levels of this gas in your home. Should the levels reach higher than normal levels; the alarm will sound alerting you to the danger, giving you time to get to fresh air and to call for help.