Ten Ways to Protect Your Home Against an Invisible Killer
Looking out my window, I see that the Maples are turning their gorgeous fall colors and the other trees will be soon following suit.
That also means heating season will soon be here too, and our windows and doors will be closed against the approaching winter weather.
Storm windows will be put in place, everything caulked against air leaks, and the heating plant fires up for the first time in months.
And, while this will keep us warm and snug it also means reduced ventilation in our homes.
Each year we see about 175 Carbon Monoxide related deaths in American homes and, unfortunately Fargo/Moorhead as well as the Lakes Region will see its share of these.. These are almost entirely from improperly used or maintained heating systems or heaters.
We can prevent almost 100% of these by taking proper precautions.
At Mid-America Inspection Service, we recommend:
- Install carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home with at least one near each sleeping area. Change batteries once a year and replace detectors at about 5–7 years.
- Have fuel fired heating appliances serviced at least every two years or better annually. Make certain that the service technician not only cleans and adjusts the unit but also does a check for any carbon monoxide leaks.
- Do not use portable or unvented fuel fired heaters inside any confined area.
- Do not run any fuel powered engine or generator inside any confined area.
- Do not burn charcoal inside any confined area.
- Do not attempt to use a gas fired range or clothes dryer for heating.
- Do not run your vehicle engine while in the garage to warm it up.
- If you use any “vent free” heaters make certain that the manufactures instructions are followed and keep in mind that these are not allowed in several states because of safety concerns.
- Pay attention to your CO detectors. They are there to help keep you safer in your own home. If they go off, there is a reason even if it is only a defective detector.
- Do be aware that the symptoms of low level CO poisoning are very much like the flu but without the accompanying fever. Symptoms include headache, tiredness, difficulty catching your breath, dizziness, and nausea.