Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips for Your Family

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Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips for Your Family

Winter weather is coming, and that means that you will have to wake up your heating system (if you haven’t already) from its slumber. Your furnace is probably a little creaky and in need of a good cleaning after lying dormant for months, so this is a good time to schedule an inspection tune-up. 

Call Masters Heating & Cooling today and we will send our licensed professionals out ASAP to give your heating system a thorough once-over. We will make sure your system is cleaned and ready to operate as efficiently as possible. More importantly, though, our inspection and tune-up will make sure your system is operating safely.

CARBON MONOXIDE SAFETY

Carbon monoxide (CO), a gas produced when fuel is not completely combusted, is known as the silent killer because it can not be seen or smelled and can cause death if levels become too high. Unfortunately, a faulty or damaged furnace is the main culprit behind carbon monoxide poisoning in the United States. 

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400 Americans die every year from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires; more than 50,000 visit the emergency room due to unintentional CO poisoning, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized. Part of the problem is that the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often mistaken for flu or cold symptoms. Here are some common symptoms of CO poisoning:

  • Headache, fatigue and shortness of breath
  • Nausea, dizziness and vomiting
  • Mental confusion, loss of muscle coordination and loss of consciousness

If you or a family member is experiencing any of these symptoms and suspect CO poisoning, open doors and windows, leave the home, and call first responders or utility company hotlines.

While carbon monoxide safety is an issue that should receive attention throughout the year, it is important to note that November is #CarbonMonoxideAwarenessMonth. And it is a great time to schedule the afore-mentioned inspection and tune-up, where our technicians will make sure your furnace and other fuel-burning appliances, such as water heaters and gas dryers, are operating correctly. We will check it all out, inducing burners, blowers, and ventilation systems. 

LEAVE CHARCOAL GRILLS OUTDOORS

Yes, charcoal grills and other faulty or poorly-vented fuel-burning equipment such as portable heaters, boilers, cookers and generators can produce harmful levels of CO. Fireplaces with chimneys that are blocked or dirty can also be dangerous. Here are some CO safety tips to follow in your home:

  • Place carbon monoxide detectors near smoke detectors and/or near busy living areas such as bedrooms and family rooms and laundry/service rooms. Check the batteries twice per year.
  • Never leave a car running in a garage attached to your home.
  • If using portable generators, place them outside at least 12-15 feet from the home.
  • Never grill indoors and make sure dampers are left open on fireplaces until ashes cool and can be removed.

Of course, it is worth repeating that it is important to have your home heating system, including chimneys and vents, inspected and serviced annually by a trained service technician. Get peace of mind and call Masters today for a heating system inspection. Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.