When it comes to posing safety hazards in the home, winter may be the most dangerous season. According to a report from the CDC, low winter temperatures mean home heating systems will run for hours. This causes the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning to increase substantially. The same report points out that every year, at least 430 people die in the U.S. from accidental CO poisoning, and another 50,000 visit the emergency room.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless gas that kills at high concentrations and causes irreversible injuries at lower levels. To ensure you keep stay safe, we’ve put together some winter electrical safety tips to limit the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in your home this winter.
Never use a camp stove inside
This often proves to be a problem during power outages. With no electricity your boiler won’t boil, and your furnace won’t blow. You’ll get really cold — in a hurry.
No matter how cold you may get, never use a camp stove or any fossil fuel burner inside for heat. While you may feel warmer, you and your family will unknowingly breathe in toxic CO gas.
Do not use your gas oven for heat
as a byproduct, you’ll be exposed to CO gases.
Check your CO detector’s batteries
You should change the batteries in your CO detector every six months. If you don’t have a battery-powered or battery back-up CO detector, it’s a good idea to buy one soon.
Keep your heating system and appliances in good working order
Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
Keep vents and system airways free of debris
Debris can block ventilation lines making appliances work harder and presenting a fire danger.
Do not run a vehicle in an enclosed space
Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage. CO fumes can quickly accumulate, making the situation dangerous if not deadly.
As part of a safety inspection, Mister Sparky electricians will examine your electrical system top to bottom and give you the peace of mind you need to ensure you and your family are safe. For help installing smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors or for a complete safety inspection of your home’s electrical system, contact Mr. Sparky today.
If you suspect CO poisoning, call 911 or a health care professional right away.
Signs of Carbon Monoxide exposure:
- Shortness of Breath
- Vision Problems
- Rapid Heartbeat
Ignoring these symptoms can be fatal. Even at low levels, the damage caused by Carbon Monoxide exposure can lead to lifelong health problems.