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Detecting Trouble

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Danger
You can't taste it, smell it, or hear it, but carbon monoxide (CO) is one of the most deadly risks for homeowners. Here are a few steps you can take to protect your family:

  • Buy a CO alarm with the Underwriters Laboratories' UL mark.
  • Install alarms within 15 feet of all sleeping areas and on every floor of your home.
  • Test batteries monthly and replace them annually.
  • Follow the manufacturer's directions for cleaning alarms.
  • Replace alarms every 5 to 10 years, depending on the model.
  • Prevent CO leaks by having your furnace, water heater, and other fuel-burning appliances (including chimney and vents) professionally installed and annually serviced.
  • Don't leave a vehicle running in the garage, even when the garage door is open. Never use a generator or charcoal grill inside a home, garage, vehicle, or tent.
  • Seek immediate medical care if you suspect CO poisoning. Signs include dizziness, light-headedness, headache, and nausea. People often mistake CO poisoning symptoms for the flu.

Test for radon
Carbon monoxide is not the only silent hazard in your home. There's another—radon. The U.S surgeon general warns that this colorless, odorless and tasteless gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer and that only smoking causes more cases of the disease. The good news is that with very simple remediation work, you can control the level of radon in your home. To check the levels radon in your home, purchase a test kit or arrange to have a test done by a professional.

Other hidden dangers at home
Carbon monoxide and radon probably aren't the only hidden dangers in your home. Ninety-four percent of home garages harbor potential fire hazards and other dangerous items, according a national study by the Home Safety Council. Here are some steps you can take to combat these dangers:

  • Store only small amounts of gasoline in a garage.
  • Never keep gasoline in a garage with an appliance that has a pilot light.
  • Keep flammable or poisonous materials, such as pesticides, lighter fluid, and paint thinner, in their original containers, clearly labeled and with child-resistant caps. Place them in a locked cabinet or on a high shelf.
  • See if your community holds Hazardous Waste Days for disposing of household chemicals.
  • Do not exceed the maximum safe wattage in light fixtures.
  • Keep floor and stairs clutter free.
  • Clean grease spills right away.

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Sean McGowan Insurance Agency
423 Mason Park Blvd, Suite A, Katy, TX 77450 | 281.829.1135

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