Posts Tagged ‘Carbon Monoxide’
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
Because this seems to be more prevalent in the winter months than any other time, we strive to make sure that you have all the ammunition you need to defend yourselves. We are reposting a story from the small business site AllBusiness.com that addresses the issue.
With colder temperatures comes a silent threat from fuel-burning appliances — carbon monoxide.
“We get a lot of false alarms throughout the year, but this is our busiest time for actual elevated levels of carbon monoxide in people’s homes,” said Jacksonville Fire Department Capt. Bryan McGee, fire prevention and education officer.
Such calls typically start in mid-October when people begin using wood stoves, fireplaces, kerosene heaters or gas-powered furnaces — all of which produce carbon monoxide emissions in levels usually not harmful, McGee said.
But when appliances are used improperly or are not working right, the colorless, odorless toxic flammable gas becomes hazardous.
Such was the case Sunday, when a malfunctioning furnace caused a “dangerously high” level of carbon monoxide inside a South Jacksonville church.
No one inside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 1053 E. Vandalia Road became ill and South Jacksonville Fire Chief David Hickox said firefighters vented the building, shut off the furnace and advised church officials to call someone to fix the problem.
About 95 percent of Jacksonville’s calls turn out to be false alarms caused by faulty sensors or low batteries in carbon monoxide detectors or by old or damaged heat exchangers in furnaces, McGee said.
“In some homes, we have had levels that are extremely high and a few poisonings because of it,” he added.
There have been no carbon monoxide poisoning incidents so far this year.
In addition to having equipment to check the carbon monoxide level of a building, the Jacksonville Fire Department can check those inside for possible poisoning. With its portion of a public safety grant earlier this year, the fire department bought two finger-clamp monitors to measure the level of carbon monoxide in the blood.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, unusual fatigue, dizziness and confusion.
An estimated 170 people die each year and thousands of others end up in hospital emergency rooms because of carbon monoxide poisoning.
To avoid the risk, McGee suggests people have fuel-burning appliances and water heaters checked before winter by a qualified technician. Fireplaces should be checked regularly to ensure they are in proper working order and properly ventilated. Chimneys should be cleaned annually.
State law requires an approved carbon monoxide alarm be installed within 15 feet of a bedroom in most residences. An exception is those that have all-electric power — no gas heat or a gas water heater — and do not have fireplaces or attached garages.
McGee said it’s important to replace the batteries in the detectors regularly. Carbon monoxide detectors more than three years old probably need to have the sensor inside replaced, McGee said.
Intermittent beeping every 30 seconds to a minute can indicate a low battery or a bad sensor.
If the detector’s alarm sound is constant, “then it’s an obvious incident of carbon monoxide,” he said.
If that happens, get out of the house immediately and call for help from a safe location outdoors or from a neighbor’s house.
Please heed these warnings. If you want to be sure that you’re safe, let Casteel Heating and Cooling come take a look. We care.
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)
How much do you know about carbon monoxide (CO)? If you’re like most, you’ve heard about it, but may not know just how dangerous it can be. According to the CDC, each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning, 20,000+ end up in the emergency room and more than 4,000 are hospitalized from CO poisoning.
We’ve helped quite a few families over the last year that had carbon monoxide entering their homes and we’ve even had some uncomfortably close calls. So we came up with the Casteel Carbon Monoxide Protection Program.
“We don’t want anyone to die from this poison. So, we decided that we needed to increase our efforts to inform people of the dangers.” ~Bob Casteel
We’re releasing a research-based survey that helps consumers determine whether they are at risk or not. Education and early action is the best defense in saving lives.
If you’re in the Marietta, GA area, and would like more information about carbon monoxide poisoning or believe you may be at risk, please visit www.casteelair.com or call us at 770-CASTEEL (227-8335).