Carbon Monoxide

What you need to know...

You can't smell, see or taste carbon monoxide (CO), but you need to be informed about it. CO results when any fuel is burned. Under normal conditions, small amounts of CO are produced and vented outdoors. But when faulty combustion occurs, dangerous levels of CO can be produced. Over-exposure causes CO poisoning, which can lead to serious illness, even death. Follow these tips to keep you and your family safe.

Prevent build-up

  • Have your furnace, venting systems and chimney inspected by a qualified contractor each year.
  • Periodically check your furnace and water heater vent pipes for rust, corrosion or damage. Have pipes replaced if necessary.
  • Don't use your gas range to heat your home.
  • Never burn charcoal in your home, garage, work shed, recreational vehicle or other enclosed area.
  • Be sure your chimney flue is open each time you use your fireplace.
  • Never run a car engine, lawn mower, snow blower or other combustion engine in a closed area like your garage or basement.
  • In the winter time if you warm up your car always make sure the garage door is open.

Symptoms and first aid

Symptoms include headache, dizziness, nausea, coughing and an irregular heartbeat or flu like symptoms.

CO victims need fresh air immediately. Open windows and doors and call emergency response personnel, even if the victim seems to be recovering.

If you suspect your furnace is malfunctioning, call us. Prevention is the key. When properly installed and maintained, natural gas furnaces and hot water heaters do not pollute your home. Your best defense against CO is knowledge about the danger.

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