The frozen grip of winter has arrived, and we are beginning to hunker down and turn on our furnace / gas-powered appliances to heat our homes. If preventable measures are not taken there can be a possible odorless and colorless by-product filling our homes (from combustion) called Carbon Monoxide (CO). This is also known by some people as the silent killer.
Every year, there continues to be a number of preventable hospitalizations or deaths associated with carbon monoxide poisoning. There are some general offensive and defensive tips that can either prevent such incidents or save you if an accident happens to occur.
Offensive actions (preventative):
- Have all gas appliances in your home inspected by a professional on a yearly basis (i.e. Furnaces, gas fireplaces, and gas water heaters);
- Keep clutter away from gas-powered furnaces “it needs to breathe”. As a rule, you should keep a space of a minimum 30 inches (76 cm) around the furnace. Please check your local fire prevention office and or local building codes.
Defensive action (your last line of defense):
- Accidents can happen, and having a carbon monoxide (CO) detector on every floor and bedroom of your residence is not only necessary it may even be a requirement. Please check your local fire prevention office and or local building codes. Remember that CO detectors have a shelf life and may vary from five to seven years.
In closing, these simple tips could potently prevent incidents involving carbon monoxide. When in doubt call your local fire prevention office or even your home insurance company and they can provide some guidance. Be safe and have a great and safe winter.
For more information on Carbon Monoxide, check out our other blog Carbon Monoxide Protection with Woodstoves.