Preventing CO Poisoning

prevent co poisoningA simple annual maintenance plan and monthly check-up can help prevent the silent, tasteless, colorless, and odorless killer.

Annual heating system inspection and follow-up maintenance is essential to the prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the National Fire Protection Association and the American Lung Association, all encourage the regular maintenance of home heating systems and chimneys in to keep this silent killer at bay.

A well tuned furnace or boiler, when connected to a properly sized venting system will operate efficiently and keep your home warm, comfortable, and safe.

Of course, the flue or venting system must be structurally sound, clean, and free of blockages. Homeowners should contract for an annual inspection to insure these conditions says

Carbon monoxide detectors are a requirement for all home sales transactions in New York State. They are readily available in most large retail stores and hardware stores, and they are affordable.

Every home owner should have at least two. One should be mounted near the furnace and the other near the family sleeping area.

Although carbon monoxide detectors are lifesavers, they are not a substitute for routine maintenance.

Home owners should remember that detectors point out a problem; maintenance can avoid the problem to begin with.

If you notice headaches, excessive drowsiness, or symptoms of a cold while you are at home and these problems clear up when you are away from home, suspect carbon monoxide. If your whole family feels ill, suspect carbon monoxide.

If you have a battery operated carbon monoxide detector, change the battery often.

If you suspect carbon monoxide, call a service contractor, immediately.

A good maintenance tip is to have a qualified service technician service your furnace at least once per year. Also have chimneys checked annually by a certified chimney sweep, who can clean the chimney and repair it as needed.

Considering the benefits of a well maintained heating system (and the risks involved when systems are neglected) the smart home owner would consider such an inspection a sound investment.

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