I know better. Really, I do. Think of all the houses I go into. I know what to look for, the questions to ask. Then why was I so dumb?

A couple of weeks ago, I had my trusty maintenance guy come to my house and start my gas fireplace. This fireplace hasn’t been used since I built the house, but that’s another column as to why. Then my maintenance guy asked The Question: “Where are your carbon monoxide detectors?” I didn’t have an explanation. Later that week, I became the proud owner of three plug-in detectors; one unit for each floor.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Red blood cells pick up CO (carbon monoxide) quicker than they pick up oxygen. If there is a lot of CO in the air, the body may replace oxygen in blood with CO. This blocks oxygen from getting into the body, which can damage tissues and result in death.”

And where does this carbon monoxide come from? The usual in-home culprits are gas furnaces, gas stoves and gas fireplaces.

What are the common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning? Again, according to the CDC, “The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. High levels of CO inhalation can cause loss of consciousness and death. Unless suspected, CO poisoning can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms mimic other illnesses. People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before ever experiencing symptoms.”

Clearly, this is something to take seriously. Detection of carbon monoxide is easy. Now, I can breathe easier.

Buying or selling? We’d love to help. Contact us at info@LocationLincoln.com or 402-261-0470.

Katie Pocras, MBA, Associate Broker

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L Magazine editor

Mark Schwaninger is L magazine and Neighborhood Extra editor.

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