Chimney Care Company's Blog

Protect Your Family From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Your home houses many devices that create carbon monoxide: Your furnace, your fireplace or heating stove, your gas stove or oven, your clothing dryer, your water heater and your car, to name a few. We all know that these devices are perfectly safe when they are well vented and operating properly. But when vents get blocked or damaged, when appliances fail, or when human error intervenes, these devices can put you and your family at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Protect Your Family From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Image - Cincinnati OH - Chimney Care CompanyAt its lowest levels, carbon monoxide poisoning can cause nausea, vomited, feeling lightheaded or sleepiness. At worst, it can result in confusion, organ damage or even death. That is why it is crucial that you take steps to protect your family from the dangers of carbon monoxide.

To prevent carbon monoxide from building up within your home and to keep your family safe:

  • Have heating appliances cleaned and inspected annually. Furnaces, fireplaces and heating stoves should have their vents cleaned at least once per year, and the appliances should be checked for damage or malfunction that could put your home or your family in danger.
  • Make sure appliance vents stay clear. Appliance vents should remain clear at all times. Check that vents are clear after major storms or in heavy snows. Make sure that vents do not get covered during home renovations.
  • Clean your dryer vents. Over time, clothing dryer vents can become clogged with lint. Just like your chimney and furnace flues, your dryer vents should be cleaned at least once per year to lower your risk of carbon monoxide buildup or a home fire.
  • Only use gas appliances as directed. Never use your gas stove or oven as a heat source. Leave camp stoves or portable gas heaters outdoors where they belong. Do not run a gas-powered generator within your home.
  • Never leave your car running inside your garage. Your car’s exhaust can cause carbon monoxide to build up to dangerous levels in your garage and in your attached home, even if the garage door has been left open while the car is running.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide detectors can be life savers, literally. You should have carbon monoxide detectors installed on each level of your home and near each sleeping area within your home. Test carbon monoxide detectors at least once per month, and replace batteries at least once per year.

Know what to do when carbon monoxide detectors sound!

Make sure every member of your home knows what the alarms sound like and what to do if they hear the alarms’ signals. Exit the home immediately and call 911. Do not re-enter the home until the danger has been cleared. If you experience any of the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning — dizziness, nausea, sleepiness, confusion — seek medical attention.

The prospect of carbon monoxide poisoning frightens most homeowners, as it should, but by taking precautions to prevent it and by having alarms in place, you can keep your family safe from the dangers of carbon monoxide.

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