First of all, if you’re thinking about starting your car in the garage with the door closed, don’t. Why? Because it’s dangerous! How dangerous? Very. In today’s post we’ll explain what exactly happens when you start your car engine in an enclosed space, how long it takes, and why it is so dangerous. If you’ve never heard of Carbon Monoxide and you have a car and a garage, please keep reading.
Carbon Monoxide From Your Car
Carbon Monoxide is an extremely toxic gas that is released from your car when you start it. Due to certain cases of death due to Carbon Monoxide gas in enclosed spaces, there have been changes in design to slow the process. However, that does not mean it is not still extremely dangerous. Your car is still burning fuel which means it will ultimately still produce Carbon Monoxide gas, and it will become dangerous if you’re not careful.
How Long Before It Becomes Dangerous?
A paper by T.H. Greiner, Ph.D., P.E says that when you start your car in an enclosed space it can take only 7 minutes with a 5 horsepower engine in a 10,000 cubic foot room to become fatal. 10,000 cubic feet really isn’t that big. In fact, your garage is probably smaller than that. Which makes this problem even more dangerous. Don’t believe us? From 1999-2010 there were 5,149 deaths caused by unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning in the United States. That’s too many!
How Does Carbon Monoxide Kill People?
When you have a buildup of CO in the air it reduced the amount of oxygen that can get to the brain, causing CO poisoning. The real killer is that you don’t notice it’s happening until it’s too late. The first sensation people feel when you leave the car on in a garage is dizziness. Then, by the time they realize something is wrong they can no longer move their body. All they can do after that is wait for it to be over.
Okay, so now hopefully we’ve gotten the point across that this is dangerous, now let’s talk about how to avoid it.
How To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
For one thing, never EVER leave your kid(s) and your keys in the car at the same time. Your kid may innocently think to turn the car on while you are gone to help you out. They didn’t know!
Which brings us to another point; tell you kids about this problem as soon as possible. That way our first point is never even a problem.
Opening your garage door before you start your car is the best way to avoid this problem. Sometimes you’ll start your car then realize you forgot something inside. Some people start their car and then check email on their phone. Maybe you had some emails to check or send on your phone. Maybe you need to get directions and started typing all that in your phone after you started your car. Whatever it is, just don’t risk it! Make your routine as follows: open garage door, start car. Do that every time, and you should be fine.
Welp, hopefully this post helps everyone understand why leaving you car started in your closed garage is dangerous, and how to avoid those dangers. If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments, or give our professionals a call!