Posts Tagged ‘Carbon Monoxide safety’

We have posted regarding safety and Carbon Monoxide before but we can NOT stress enough how important it is for you to be extremely careful during the cold season.

Here are some potential Carbon Monoxide dangers in your home:

  • CO is a produced anytime a fuel is burned. Potential sources include gas or oil furnaces, water heaters, space heaters, clothes dryers, barbecue grills, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, gas ovens, generators, and car exhaust fumes.
  • CO poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. (Centers for Disease Control)
  • Every year more than 10,000 people die or seek medical attention due to CO poisoning from home-related products. (Consumer Product Safety Commission)
  • More than two-thirds of Americans use gas, wood, kerosene or another fuel as their home”s major heat source.
  • 65% of CO poisoning deaths from consumer products are due to heating systems.
  • Only 27% of homes in America have carbon monoxide alarms, according to the Hardware/Homecenter Research Industry.
  • An idling vehicle in an attached garage, even with the garage door opened, can produce concentrated amounts of CO that can enter your home through the garage door or nearby windows.
  • CO poisoning deaths from portable generators have doubled for the past two years, and many of these deaths occurred in the winter months and during power outages.
  • A poorly maintained gas stove can give off twice the amount of CO than one in good working order.

What you can do to prevent Carbon Monoxide from leaking into your home.

  • Install at least one battery-powered CO alarm or AC-powered unit with battery backup on each level of your home and near sleeping areas.
  • Do not use charcoal or gas grills inside or operate outdoors near a window where CO fumes could seep in through a window.
  • Check all carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Do they use the most accurate sensing technology? Do they need new batteries?
  • Replace CO alarms every five to seven years in order to benefit from the latest technology upgrades.
  • Have a licensed professional inspect heating systems and other fuel-burning appliances annually.
  • Install fuel-burning appliances properly and operate according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Keep chimneys clear of animal nests, leaves and residue to ensure proper venting. Have all fireplaces cleaned and inspected annually.
  • Do not block or seal shut the exhaust flues or ducts used by water heaters, ranges and clothes dryers.
  • Do not leave your car running in an attached garage or carport.
  • Do not use ovens or stoves to heat your home.

How we can help:

  • Let us perform a Home Energy Audit. It includes testing your home for Carbon Monoxide and will give you peace of mind knowing you and your family are safe.
  • Here is a link to Choosing a Carbon Monoxide Alarm from Consumer Reports. This should get you started!

As always, Casteel Heating and Cooling cares about your safety and will help in any way we can to ensure that you and your loved ones are healthy, happy and safe.

Source cited: www.kidde.com

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, CO can kill you before you are aware it is in your home. At lower levels of exposure, CO causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. The effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person depending on age, overall health and the concentration and length of exposure.

 

Steps to Reduce Exposure to Carbon Monoxide

It is most important to be sure combustion equipment is maintained and properly adjusted.  Vehicular use should be carefully managed adjacent to buildings and in vocational programs.  Additional ventilation can be used as a temporary measure when high levels of CO are expected for short periods of time.

  • Keep gas appliances properly adjusted.
  • Consider purchasing a vented space heater when replacing an unvented one.
  • Use proper fuel in kerosene space heaters.
  • Install and use an exhaust fan vented to outdoors over gas stoves.
  • Open flues when fireplaces are in use.
  • Choose properly sized wood stoves that are certified to meet EPA emission standards. Make certain that doors on all wood stoves fit tightly.
  • Have a trained professional inspect, clean, and tune-up central heating system (furnaces, flues, and chimneys) annually. Repair any leaks promptly.
  • Do not idle the car inside garage.

At Casteel Heating and Cooling we can perform an energy audit that tests for presence of Carbon Monoxide.

For more information regarding this topic see the cited article: An Introduction to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)