Carbon Monoxide Poisoning - Avoidance and Prevention

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas produced by the combustion of fuels such as natural gas, oil, and propane in mechanical unit including furnaces, water heaters, and stoves. These items are normally designed to vent the CO to the outside, but harmful interior levels of CO can result from incomplete combustion of fuel, improper installation, or blockages, leaks or cracks in the venting systems. Very high levels of CO can lead to incapacitation or death, with victims sometimes never having been aware they were being poisoned.

Homeowners can take action against potential carbon monoxide poisoning by taking the following steps:
 

 
Have all fuel-burning appliances professionally inspected annually, preferably before the start of the cold-weather season when heaters and furnaces are first used.
 
These appliances include gas stoves and ovens, furnaces and heaters, water heaters, generators, and clothes dryers.
 
All such units should be properly installed and safely vented to the outside.
 
If repairs are necessary, be sure they are performed by a qualified technician.
 
Always use the proper fuel specified for the unit.
 
Have flues and chimneys for fuel-burning fireplaces or wood stoves inspected regularly for cracks, leaks, and blockages that may allow a buildup of CO to occur.
 
Never use gas stoves or ovens as a home heating source, even temporarily.
 
Do not idle a vehicle in a garage, even with the garage door open. When starting the car, open the garage door, start the engine, and drive out as soon as possible to prevent dangerous CO emissions from accumulating.
 
All homes in Ontario, with a fuel burning appliance and/or an attached garage
MUST HAVE A CO DETECTOR 
- IT'S THE LAW (either battery operated or plug-in) and follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper location and installation.
(Law came in effect on Oct. 15, 2014 - Law is enforceable April 15, 2015)
 
Learn what to do if the CO alarm activates: ALWAYS REACT TO A CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM!  GET OUT OF YOUR HOME AND CONTACT YOUR LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENT FOR ASSISTANCE.

-courtesy of Pillar to Post Home Inspectors

Luc Poirier

Luc Poirier

Broker
CENTURY 21 Shield Realty Ltd., Brokerage*
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