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Carbon monoxide poisoning is dangerous. It is colorless, odorless, tasteless and it can be building up right now and you would never know it. Carbon monoxide is produced by candles, but is it enough to be dangerous?Can candles cause carbon monoxide poisoning? Yes, candles can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Candles produce a small but measurable amount of carbon monoxide and in a small enclosed space with poor ventilation carbon monoxide poisoning can happen. You should never leave candles burning in a small enclosed space.

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Carbon monoxide is sometimes referred to as the “silent killer”. This is a title it has earned as an estimated 50,000 people per year visit emergency rooms due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Our choice carbon monoxide and smoke detector on Amazon.Candles produce a very small, but measurable amount of carbon monoxide. Let’s take a look at some of the risk factors.

Carbon Monoxide Risk Factors

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What Are Carbon Monoxide Risk Factors?Poorly vented fuel-burning appliancesPoorly vented roomsEnclosed spacesCar running in a closed garage

Poorly vented fuel-burning appliances

Causes Of Carbon Monoxide PoisoningGas heatersFireplacesGas cookstovesGas water heatersFurnacesCharcoal grillsWood burning stovesSome of these appliances are not meant to be used as a main source of heat while others should be properly vented.If you have an open floor plan and a ventless gas heater it is likely you will be okay, but if you try to use a ventless heater in your bedroom then you could be asking for trouble.If an appliance is designed to be ventless it will be marketed as such, never use an alliance that is supposed to be vented without venting it.Wood burning stoves and fireplaces are also a leading cause of carbon monoxide exposure. If you use a fireplace it is important to make sure that your chimney is complete with no leaks and is unobstructed.A reverse air flow is a risk when using a fireplace because in this situation the air actually flows through the chimney back in to your house. This happens when your house is too tightly sealed, not allowing proper air flow through your house and out the chimney.

Poorly vented rooms

Poorly ventilated rooms can be risk factors, particularly if it has a ventless heater or a fuel-burning heating source such as a fireplace or gas heater.A candle can also contribute to carbon monoxide poisoning in this situation. However, it may take multiple candles over the course of a certain amount of time.

Enclosed spaces

Enclosed spaces are also risky, particularly if it is one with a few or several people sleeping. Imagine a bedroom with a ventless gas heater and a few beds or bunk beds.Carbon monoxide could slowly build up in this room over time if a detector is not in place and if the room is not adequately ventilated. This is a situation in which candles can also contribute to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Car running in a closed garage

This is a situation in which carbon monoxide poisoning can happen and a car running in a closed garage can be dangerous for people to enter and work in up to 10 hours later.Sadly this is also a common form of suicide.This is the number for the suicide prevention lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Who is most susceptible?

Who Is Most Susceptible To Carbon Monoxide?ElderlyChildrenPeople with respiratory conditions

Elderly

Elderly people who experience any form of carbon monoxide poisoning may be more likely to develop brain damage.

Children

Children breathe more shallow and more rapidly than adults which may make them more susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning.

People with respiratory conditions

Respiratory conditions that may exacerbate carbon monoxide exposure.Respiratory Conditions That Many Exacerbate Carbon Monoxide ExposureAsthmaCOPDBronchitisLung CancerPneumoniaCOVID-19Black lungSilicosis

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

According to the Mayo Clinic, carbon monoxide poisoning happens when carbon monoxide builds up in your blood stream. Your body can replace oxygen in your blood cells with carbon monoxide when too much is in the air.Symptoms Of Carbon Monoxide PoisoningBlurred VisionConfusionWeaknessNauseaDizzinessDull headacheShortness of breathLoss of consciousnessThe danger is paticularly elevated to those that may be intoxicated or sleeping.Find out more by visiting the Mayo Clinic at the link below.Here is an article from the Mayo Clinic on carbon monoxide poisoning

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Exposure

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How To Prevent Carbon Monoxide PoisoningUse Candles In Well Ventilated AreasHave fuel-burning appliances serviced by a professionalInstall a CO detector in your homeLeave your home if you experience dizziness, light-headedness, or nausea.

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Serviced by a professional

While we all like to save a little money, if you are not confident that you know absolutely what you are doing, it is a lot safer to hire a qualified professional.This is particularly true when it comes to gas furnaces, stoves, and other gas-burning appliances.In addition to it being safer, in some municipalities, you are required to hire a licensed professional when it comes to things such as installing a gas water heater or a gas furnace.Install CO detector in your homeHaving a battery-operated CO detector in your home can act as an early warning system giving you the opportunity to get out or ventilate your home.If your CO detector goes off, immediately turn off any fuel-burning appliances and begin opening doors and windows. Have your appliances inspected by a professional before turning them back on.CO detectors should be placed at the same height of your bed. The risk with CO is that you may go to sleep and never wake-up.Leave your home if you experience CO exposure symptomsAbove all, if you experience any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning please leave your home immediately. You can call 911 and the fire department will come and help assess your situation.You can find out more about prevention from the CDC at the link below.Here is an article from the CDC on carbon monoxide prevention.

Frequently Asked Questions