Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas that can be deadly if inhaled in high concentrations. Taking steps to mitigate carbon monoxide-related hazards in your home is vital since prolonged exposure can lead to serious health complications. Luckily, there are many ways to reduce the risk and prevent carbon monoxide exposure.
Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Protect your family from carbon monoxide by installing detectors throughout the house. Carbon monoxide detectors alert you if there are dangerous levels of the gas present, allowing you to take action quickly and evacuate your home if necessary. Place the devices at about eye level. Carbon monoxide is lighter than air but will rise upward with warm air.
Check Your Appliances to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure
Inspect household appliances regularly for issues. Have your stove, furnace, fireplace, water heater, and other gas-powered devices checked by a professional every year. The technician will look for problems that could lead to carbon monoxide leaks and make repairs. Make sure you’re using the correct fuel type, and never use an appliance inside if it isn’t designed for indoor use.
Avoid Blocked Vents and Ducts
Make sure furnace vents are clear of debris, as a blockage can prevent the ventilation of gases. If you notice a blockage, contact a professional immediately to fix it. Keep furniture, curtains, and other objects away from vents so air can circulate freely.
Ventilate Enclosed Spaces
Be mindful in enclosed spaces – like garages and basements – with poor circulation, as they can trap carbon monoxide gas. Verify your gas-powered tools and heating appliances are properly ventilated if used indoors, and never leave a car running inside a closed garage or confined space. Don’t use your generator indoors or under a carport; keep it away from open windows when operating it.
Have the Chimney Inspected Annually to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure
If you have a fireplace or wood stove in your home, have the chimney inspected by a professional. An inspector will check for cracks in the bricks and mortar and clear out debris in the chimney that could prevent carbon monoxide from venting properly. Making sure the chimney is in good condition and functioning properly will keep carbon monoxide from accumulating in the home.
Keep yourself and your family safe from carbon monoxide by following these tips. By taking precautions and being mindful of risks, you reduce the risk of carbon monoxide exposure in your home, boosting air quality and contributing to the health and well-being of your family.