Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless poisonous gas that is impossible to detect without mechanical assistance. It is extremely dangerous to humans and can prove fatal or cause serious injury. Fortunately, it can be detected with carbon monoxide detectors. In recent years, CO detectors have become as mandatory for proper home safety as smoke detectors.
Though CO detectors are effective, precautions should be taken to avoid CO from being released into your living spaces in the first place. CO is formed by the incomplete burning of a number of commonly used fuel substances, the most common being coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane and natural gas. Internal combustion engines in cars, compressors, lawn mowers and generators can emit CO. Monitoring the use of devices that depend on these fuels is the proper approach to preventing the problem.
There are sensible ways to prevent CO from spreading inside your home:
- Portable generators or any gas powered appliance should never be operated inside your home or even in a garage.
- Avoid using camp stoves and other portable appliances inside the house.
- Keep your chimney clean of creosote.
- Your gas cooking range or oven should never be used to heat the home.
- Charcoal cooking should always be done outside your home.
- Install appliances properly, then keep your appliance vents clear.
- Allow plenty of airflow through all your appliances.
- Never use an un-vented heating source in bedrooms
- Don’t leave your car engine running in the garage, whether the big garage door is open or not.
- Get regular maintenance for your furnace. The technician will check to make sure the heat-generating/exchange process is working properly, and that all gases are being safely vented out of the home.
Install updated CO detectors. Install detectors in a hallway near sleeping areas. Do not put them in kitchens or near fireplaces. Check regularly to make certain that it’s operating properly and has a fresh battery.
If your detector emits a warning, head for the outdoors. Open doors and windows to allow the CO to escape, then call 911. Check on every member of your household to make certain they have not been affected.
For more information about CO detection and other home safety and comfort issues, please contact us at Powers Heating and Air in Peach Tree City for more information.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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