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We trust our fireplaces, stoves, and other fuel burning appliances to burn safely. However, even when used properly and well maintained, there are hidden dangers. Accidental house fire and carbon monoxide poisoning are just a few safety concerns when it comes to operating fuel burning appliances. We trust our fireplaces, stoves, and other fuel burning appliances to burn safely.

One of the biggest safety concerns surrounding heating appliances is the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. This “silent killer” takes the lives of more than 400 people each year  in the United States; carbon monoxide poisoning is particularly prevalent during the cold months of fall and winter as families increase heater use.

Homeowners must be aware of the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as how it can be prevented.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is often referred to as a “silent killer” because it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Because of this, it can be almost impossible to detect without specialized detectors.

Carbon monoxide gas is naturally occurring and is created by all fuel burning fires and appliances. Burning wood, pellets, natural gas, propane, coal, gasoline, and kerosene all creates carbon monoxide; likewise, it can be created by several different appliances around your home including fireplaces, space heaters, furnaces, water heaters, stoves, and ovens.

Safety Tips for Preventing Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be preventable with proper precautions and common sense safety. The following tips can help protect your family against carbon monoxide poisoning.

– Install carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in every floor of your home, as well as near any fuel-burning appliances and outside of sleeping areas. Batteries should be tested every six months to ensure functionality. Likewise, detectors should be replaced every five to seven years to stay up to date with the latest safety and technology standards.

– Install smoke detectors. Working smoke detectors are just as important as functional carbon monoxide detectors in all homes. Install them on all levels of your home, including near sleeping areas.

– Maintain fuel-burning appliances. Fireplaces, furnaces, and water heaters should all receive regular annual inspections and maintenance as needed. Likewise, inspect venting and ductwork to ensure there are no kinks or blockages. Any space heaters used in the home should meet current safety standards, be free from frayed wires, and used in accordance with manufacturer instructions.

– Keep grills and generators away. Do not use grills and generators indoors or in garages. In addition, operate them away from the home or open windows. This prevents accidental fires and keeps carbon monoxide from venting into your home.

The prospect of a house fire or carbon monoxide poisoning is frightening. However, the risk of these occurring is reduced by maintaining fuel burning appliances and following common sense safety precautions. For more information on the importance of up to date carbon monoxide and smoke detectors or how to use them correctly in your home, contact Jack Pixley Sweeps today!