Updated: Oct 9, 2018
The weather is changing from hot days to cooler days and evenings. We start to see people use their gas fireplaces more frequently to keep warm. People need to be aware that gas fireplaces require cleaning or maintenance to prevent deadly exposure to the serious hazards of carbon monoxide (CO).
Carbon monoxide is often called the “silent killer” – its victims cannot see it, smell it or taste it. It is an invisible, odorless gas that can poison, and even kill you. Breathing in carbon monoxide can make you feel sick, and feel as if you have the flu. You may experience headaches, nausea, dizziness and shortness of breath. People most at risk are infants, small children, pregnant women, elderly people, and people with heart or lung problems.
Carbon monoxide gas is produced by the incomplete burning of fuels. It can be released by gas furnaces, hot water heaters, cars, fireplaces, wood stoves and kerosene heaters. Faulty burners or clogged chimneys are often part of the problem. To avoid the production of #CO, you should have your chimney, furnace and gas-fired appliances checked by professional technicians every year.
In Ontario alone, from 2001 to 2007, there have been 74 accidental deaths from asphyxia due to vehicle exhaust and furnace fumes. In 2008, the London Fire Department responded to over 800 calls from people whose CO alarms sounded or who suspected they might have been exposed. In many cases, fire crews found dangerous levels of #carbonmonoxide.
A carbon monoxide detector is the best way to protect you and your family from this potentially deadly threat. Install CO alarms where they can be easily heard, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. When installing a CO alarm, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Test CO alarms at least once a month and replace batteris according to manufacturer’s instructions.
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