Tips For Reducing The Chance of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In The Home

With the winter months ahead, many of us will be turning up the heat. If you have fuel-burning heat appliances in your home, including woodstoves, fireplaces, kerosene heaters, and/or oil and natural gas furnaces, you may be at risk for Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning.
A colorless and odorless gas, CO can accumulate when--as a result of improper installation, poor maintenance or damage to an appliance—the fuel in use is not burned properly, or when rooms are poorly ventilated and the gas is unable to escape.

To help reduce the chance of CO poisoning in your home, the Home Safety Council recommends the following precautions and practices:

  • Install at least one CO alarm in your home, specifically near sleeping areas.
  • Ventilate the room when using a kerosene space heater.
  • Have a trained professional inspect, clean and tune-up the central heating system each year and repair any leaks or other defects.
  • Open the flue before you build a fire in the fireplace.
  • Have a trained professional inspect chimneys each year and have any cracks repaired before using the fireplace.
  • Install and use wood-burning stoves according to manufacturers' directions and in compliance with local building and safety code requirements.
  • Keep gas appliances properly vented, adjusted and serviced.
  • Never use a range or oven to heat your home.
  • Never use a gas barbecue grill or generator inside your home or in a closed garage.
  • If you have an attached garage, don't leave the car running inside the garage, even with the door open.
  • Should your CO detector alert you to an increased level of carbon monoxide, turn off all heat sources and gas appliances, open windows and evacuate the home. Contact the fire department.
  • CO detectors detect dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. They are not substitutes for smoke alarms. Likewise, smoke alarms detect smoke from a fire, but they are not designed to warn you of dangerous CO levels.

Lonnie Snyder

Keller Williams Realty Southeast Sound
Phone: 206-406-2710
E-Mail :
Lonnie Snyder is a full time real estate agent and REALTOR® with Keller Williams Realty specializing in Residential Real Estate for buyers and sellers in Washington’s Kent, Renton, Newcastle and South Bellevue.

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