Carbon Monoxide Safety in Your Home

Courtesy of Pillar to Post Home Inspections (513.771.6689):

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas produced by the combustion of fuels such as natural gas, oil, and propane devices such as furnaces, water heaters and stoves. These items are normally designed to vent the Carbon Monoxide to the outside, but harmful interior levels of Carbon Monoxide can result from incomplete combustion of fuel, improper installation, blockages, leaks or cracks in the venting system.

Cincinnati home owners can take action against potential carbon monoxide poisoning by taking the following steps:

  • Have all fuel burning appliances professionally serviced yearly, preferably before the start of the cold-weather season when heaters and furnaces are first used.
  • These appliances include gas stoves, and ovens, furnaces and heaters, water heaters, generators and clothes dryers.
  • All such devices should be properly installed and vented to the outside whenever possible.
  • If repairs are necessary, be sure they are performed by a qualified technician.
  • Always use the proper fuel specified for the device.
  • Have flues and chimneys for fuel burning fireplaces or wood stoves inspected regularly for cracks, leaks, and blockages that may allow a buildup of carbon monoxide to occur.
  • Never use gas stoves or ovens to heat the home, even temporarily.
  • Do not start of idle a vehicle in a garage, even with the outer garage door open.
  • For additional protection, purchase a Carbon Monoxide detector (either battery operated or plug-in) and follow the manjufacturer's instructions for proper location and installation.
  • Learn what to do should the Carbon Monoxide alarm activate: If anyone in the home experiences symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, or confusion, everyone should leave immediately and seek medical attention. If no symptoms are felt, open doors, and windows immediately and shut off all fuel burning devices that may be a potential source of Carbon Monoxide in the home.
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