Carbon monoxide (CO) is called the “silent killer” for good reason. It is a colourless and odourless gas that you can’t see, smell or taste and can affect you or your family before you even know it’s there. Even at low levels of exposure carbon monoxide can cause serious health problems by rapidly accumulating in the blood and depleting the capacity to carry oxygen.
Carbon monoxide is produced from the burning of fossil fuels such as natural gas, propane, gasoline or heating oil. Properly maintained fuel burning equipment produces little CO in its exhaust, but care must still be taken to ensure all exhaust is vented to the outside of your house. Anything disrupting the venting such as a nest or damage to the installation will result in CO levels quickly rising to dangerous levels. The best defence against CO poisoning is to prevent it from entering your home by taking the following steps:
- Inspect and clean fuel-burning appliances yearly
- Inspect chimneys and vents yearly for cracks or blockages
- Check fireplaces for closed or blocked flues.
- Don’t enclose heating and hot water equipment in a non-vented small space.
- Never use propane or natural gas stove tops or ovens to heat your home.
- Don’t run cars, lawnmowers or any other fuel burning equipment in a closed garage.
- Never operate propane, natural gas or charcoal barbecue grills indoors or in an attached garage.
- Regularly clean the clothes dryer ductwork and check the outside vent cover for blockages.
- If you live close to a busy road keep facing windows shut during rush hour.
- Most important of all is to ensure you have a working CO detector in your home.
In Maple and surrounding areas contact Cambridge Heating Cooling and Duct Cleaning at www.camheating.com for annual inspection of your heating equipment and the peace of mind in knowing it is safe.