Winter Home Safety: Gas and Carbon Monoxide

Winter Warning: Gas and Carbon Monoxide sources in the home.

Damaged appliances that fuel-burn have a high risk of leaking gas or Co. These appliances need to be maintained yearly. This winter, remember be vigilant when running any gas appliance.

In the home:
Wood or gas fireplaces, gas cookers, gas ovens, gas dryer and portable gas heaters.

What to look for:
Cracked piping, blockages in chimney, disconnected vent pipes or cracked heat exchanger.

Prevention:
Routinely test all alarm systems that detect explosive gas and carbon monoxide. Annually have a chimney clean, maintain fuel-burning equipment and make an annual appointment with a HVAC or heating inspector who will check gas-heating systems are operating safely.

Our Best Advice:
Do not handle gas leaks; install gas appliances or DIY gas line installations. Check with your local gas company with questions if you need to. Because of the dangers, always hire an expert to help who knows what to do. Any obstructions or a DIY unconventional vent pipe fit or design can result in CO escape.

What do I do when I suspect a gas leak?

Step 1: Do not use any electric appliances, or light a flame. (It will ignite the gas.)
Step 2: Leave immediately and open windows to vent the house as you leave.
Step 3: Call 911 to get help.
Step 4: Call your gas company to report a suspected gas leak.
Step 5: Do not re-enter your home until the gas leak has been sealed and it is safe.

Remember to always Call 911 also if your CO Alarm goes off. Leave your home immediately and call your gas company.

DANGERS of Carbon Monoxide:

What is CO?
Carbon monoxide is produced when fossil fuels (like a gas fire-place) do not burn completely or when fossil fuels are exposed to heat. Our homes are using fossil fuels everyday and if we do not maintain, use proper venting and fix malfunctioned appliances; it is very dangerous. You cannot see CO, taste it or smell any leaks.

Symptoms of possible CO poisoning:
Headaches, nausea and vomiting are common. Extreme exposure can result in convolutions and unconsciousness. Exposure to Co for a long time can cause death very quickly. Do not take any risks and always be vigilant with any fossil fuel burning appliances. (Never use any of the below fuels without proper ventilation or in an enclosed indoor or semi-indoor environment.)

CO danger Fuels: Oil, natural gas, kerosene, propane, wood, coal, charcoal and gasoline.
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