Keep killer carbon monoxide at bay

Wednesday October 6 2010

By Kenneth Oigo, [email protected]

Carbon monoxide is one of the most deadly gasses that can be found within our domestic environments. It is accountable for many deaths due to the fact that it has no characteristic smell, and the victim merely falls asleep after experiencing a dull headache.

When constructing homes, it is important to note that the provision of furnaces and boilers, gas or fuel-oil water heaters, and fireplaces and kitchen burners will guarantee the emission of carbon monoxide.

Furthermore, especially for old houses, rusted, disconnected, or defective chimneys that vent back into the home combustion gases pose huge risks. The same applies to enclosed car garages.

Major signs that indicate a carbon monoxide problem include any of the following;

  • Rusting or streaking on the chimney or vent.
  • Loose or missing furnace panels.
  • Soot on venting facility or other appliances.
  • Loose or disconnected venting.
  • Debris or soot falling from chimney.
  • Moisture on interior side of windows.

Still, carbon monoxide, a product of everyday chores in the house, can invade your home without giving you any warning in the various forms discussed above.

Heating appliances that may appear to operate smoothly can, nonetheless, be sources of carbon monoxide, but the biggest and most dangerous source of this gas is the charcoal or wood burner.

Also, petrol engines produce large amounts of carbon monoxide when first started and, as such, equipment like generators should be located in well ventilated areas.