We have all heard the horror stories of someone who accidentally suffers from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a malfunction in their car’s exhaust. However, what many homeowners do not realize is that this very same type of accident can happen within the home if they are not careful. The burning of any type of fuel creates carbon monoxide and not using the proper ventilation or precautions can have horrific repercussions. Here are a few tips on how to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning in your home.
- All heat sources should be inspected on an annual basis. This includes but is not limited to chimney, fireplace, furnace, heaters, and air handling systems.
- Gas stoves are not meant to be used as a heat source for your home. DO NOT use them in this manner, EVER!
- When using your fireplace, always make sure the flue is completely opened for ventilation.
- Space heaters should not be used in enclosed rooms. When using one, it is recommended that you leave the door open to the room where the heater is located and that a window elsewhere in the home is left slightly open for ventilation.
- If using a kerosene heater, be sure to read the operation instructions in full before using the heater. Take note that if you see yellow-tipped flame, it is a warning sign that the heater is not set up properly and will need adjusting.
- If using a gas stove or range for cooking, you must have an exhaust system in place. As with a portable space heater, the tip of the flame should not be yellow, but blue in color. If you are not seeing this, call your local utility company ASAP so it can be adjusted.
- When purchasing new gas appliances, pilotless ignition systems are now recommended. This enables you to avoid using an appliance that requires a constantly burning pilot light.