Each year, over 500 people die of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in America. It might not be a great deal to you - except when it is one of your beloved. I know because in 1996, my husband died from carbon monoxide poisoning in a little apartment in Argentina while he was visiting his nephew. If the apartment was installed with a carbon monoxide detector, they could have survived then. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe from harm.

Without any warning, this invisible gas comes as an odorless, colorless and tasteless silent killer. It is so unfortunate if one is killed of carbon monoxide poisoning by accident when it can be easily prevented. One can put a carbon monoxide alarm together with smoke alarms and make sure batteries are well charged and functioning. Include in your routine when resetting your clocks come by fall and spring, to replace the batteries on your alarms. In that way you'll remember it always.

There are other common sense precautions you can take, too. For example, charcoal grills or camping stoves are for outdoors only, appliances that use electricity such as heaters, stoves and furnaces need to be properly checked including fireplaces and wood stoves as well. The chimneys should be properly checked also to ensure that air passage is not blocked. If you have fuel- burning appliances, then you need a carbon monoxide alarm. CO can leak into the house from running vehicles in the garage. When fuels such as gas, oil, propane, wood, charcoal and methane are not completely burnt due to lack of oxygen, resulting to incomplete combustion, carbon monoxide is produced. Particular care should be taken in the winter because during that time of year the house is closed up and the furnace, wood stove, or the fireplace is used for a source of heat producing carbon monoxide. Never use a gas oven for a source of heat. In case of blackouts, always keep your generator outside the house because it emits carbon monoxide. Statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that more than 250 people died from carbon monoxide intoxication due to generator use, that is equivalent to having hundreds of idling cars in your home. An estimate of 15,000 people end up in the hospital every year because of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning is hard to diagnose because its symptoms are the same with flu and other sickness, and it is likely that many people are misdiagnosed.

Some of the symptoms to be aware of in carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, extreme tiredness, unusual sleepiness, nausea, weakness, vomiting, chest pain, dizziness, and shortness of breath. If you doubt that what you are experiencing are indication of CO poisoning, get some fresh air and seek medical attention at once.

It is recommended that at least one carbon monoxide alarm be installed within hearing distance and outside the bedroom and on each floor of the house.

If your CO alarm system at home sets off and one of your family or even you is showing warning signs, do not delay. Get out of the house and call 911.

Secure your area by using smoke carbon monoxide detectors. Get them now at www.safehomeproducts.com where you can choose a variety of selections.

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Secure your area by using smoke carbon monoxide detectors. Get them now at www.safehomeproducts.com where you can choose a variety of selections.