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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Avoiding Tragic Encounters with Carbon Monoxide

As you can see from the video, our SERVPRO of Marquette Park / West Lawn / Ford City employee Anna recently had a potentially fatal encounter with carbon monoxide in her home. When her detector was going off, she did not even know that her detectors could pick up on carbon monoxide (CO) in the air, and initially believed it was nothing more than failing batteries. A closer inspection revealed that her smoke detector was indeed warning her of dangerous CO levels in the house, and fortunately she was able to get her family to safety while firefighters worked to resolve the issue.

Many people are not aware of how easy it can be to fall victim to the fatal effects of carbon monoxide exposure in your home or commercial building. Hundreds of people die from exposure every year, and that is why many smoke detectors now also come with a secondary ability to register the amount of CO in the environment, much like Anna’s story recounts.

Carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless and invisible. What this means is, you cannot detect when your body is exposed to it, and strong enough levels can leave you unconscious in a matter of a few minutes. The gas infiltrates the bloodstream, displacing vital oxygen that your organs need to function. Without oxygen, the heart and brain force a body to go unconscious to attempt to reserve resources and fix the problem, and the persistent CO in the environment eventually displaces enough of the oxygen in the system to suffocate the exposed individual.

We at SERVPRO recommend that everyone have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors all throughout their home. As Anna’s story can show you, it is easy not to even realize you are amid dangerous levels of the gas, and without the detector, this story could have a very different ending. For more information about carbon monoxide or preventing exposure in your home, call SERVPRO of Marquette Park / West Lawn / Ford City at (773) 337-3993.