There’s an old proverb, purportedly translated from ancient Chinese, that goes: “May you live in interesting times.” It sounds like a blessing, or at least a well-wishing; in fact, it’s actually a curse.
Like it or not, we are definitely living in ‘interesting times’ today.
With our news filled with reports of war and conflict, global warming, (and all its associated consequences), earthquakes, volcanic activity, epidemics and pandemics – it truly seems the Biblical Four Horsemen are galloping through our lives with savage intentions.
It’s hardly a wonder many normally sensible people are beginning to fall prey to siege mentality.
While I like to think that the readership and visitors of Home Safety Site are above that sort of thinking, there are things we shouldn’t shrug off. One is the need for a Home Emergency Survival Kit of some sort.
Troubling times require preparedness. As William Booher of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency is quoted as saying: “It’s important to build an emergency supply kit and have it ready and available at a moment’s notice.”
What Should a Home Emergency Survival Kit contain?
Carbon monoxide, or CO, has been called the “Silent Killer” – and with good reason.
Whenever any product burns, a certain amount of carbon monoxide is created, along with other chemicals. What makes CO so dangerous in the home, in addition to its toxicity, is the fact that it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless.
CO is usually formed due to incomplete combustion. When anything burns, the carbon component usually produces carbon dioxide (CO2). When there’s less oxygen available, such as when the fire is in an enclosed space, carbon monoxide will be produced.
CO is itself combustible, so in the right circumstances can ignite and contribute to the existing fire.
In an enclosed environment such as a house or apartment, a buildup of CO can be deadly.
Carbon monoxide is lighter than CO² or oxygen, so without sufficient airflow will tend to build up in the higher areas of the dwelling – upstairs sleeping areas, for example. We can’t smell or taste it, so will have no indication of the danger.
The Symptoms and Toxic Effects of Carbon Monoxide Ingestion.