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Seven Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips for Your Holidays

A smoke and carbon monoxide detection device
December 20, 2018

When poorly maintained, a lot of appliances are at risk of leaking carbon monoxide. Without co detectors, carbon monoxide is almost impossible to detect as it’s both odorless and colorless. It’s important to act quickly if your home ever has a carbon monoxide leak, as it can be fatal. Pay close attention to how you feel as carbon monoxide can cause a variety of symptoms such as lightheadedness, nausea, confusion, chest pain, and headaches. Keep your holiday season safe by following these seven safety tips.

How You Can Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Maintain your co detectors. Besides making sure your home has enough co detectors, it’s important to routinely maintain them. Co detectors typically only last 5-7 years, sometimes even less, and they require some maintenance in order to operate effectively. Clean your co detector from dust and debris that can cause false alarms. All your detectors should be tested at least once a month to ensure they work, and batteries are best replaced once a year. Make sure to check the location of your detectors and adjust when needed, as certain conditions such as high and low temperatures, humidity, or burnt food can trigger a false alarm.
  • Inspect your heating appliances. Anything that combusts fuel is at risk of leaking carbon monoxide, which is why it’s important to monitor your heating appliances. Annual inspections are the best way to catch problems early and prevent any potential gas leaks.
  • Maintain your heating appliances. On top of yearly inspections, your heating appliances need routine maintenance in order to function properly. Make sure appliances like your furnace are clean of dust and properly ventilated. Water heaters should have their pilot light checked periodically. If any of your heating appliances need a repair, it’s best to leave that to the professionals.
  • Vent your chimney. Some appliances may exhaust carbon monoxide into your chimney, and theoretically, a chimney works just fine as a ventilation system. Unfortunately, the chimney liner inside your chimney can fail over time, causing that carbon monoxide to leak back into your home. It’s impossible to check if there’s something wrong with your chimney without professional help. Keeping your chimney well ventilated is another step to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and when it’s time for annual inspections, make sure to include the chimney.
  • Avoid back-drafting. Backdrafting is negative pressure and can be a good thing when you want to ventilate your home. If an appliance is creating a backdraft by a furnace, however, it can prevent the furnace from exhausting properly, which can cause carbon monoxide to leak back into your home. Make sure your heating appliances are not only ventilated properly but exhausting properly.
  • Avoid vent-free gas fireplaces. Any appliance that burns fuel needs a way to exhaust those fumes out of your house properly, which is why it’s not a good idea to get a vent-free gas fireplace. The problem with a vent-free gas fireplace is just that, its vent free, meaning whenever you use it, that carbon monoxide stays inside your home. It might be nice not having to clean a chimney, but if your home already has a vent-free gas fireplace, it’s best to replace it with a vented fireplace.
  • Watch for humidity. Dew or excess humidity can be a sign of a carbon monoxide leak. If your windows are looking frosted, and there’s excessive moisture on your walls, there could be a carbon monoxide leak in your home.

Reliable Electrical Services Can Help Keep Your Home Safe

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas which can be toxic. Your gas appliances can release carbon monoxide if not properly ventilated,  for example, your gas water heater or gas heater doesn’t have adequate ventilation. Our Reliable technicians are here to assist you with the placement and installation of your carbon monoxide detectors and help keep you and your loved ones safe.

Call Reliable Electrical Services today to schedule your Deerfield Beach service! 

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