Keep killer carbon monoxide at bay

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.

BY Kenneth Oigo, koigo@mellechengineering.com

IN SUMMARY

GET UP TO

  • To avoid carbon monoxide exposure and the consequent poisoning, it is important to observe the following simple safety measures;
    Make sure heating appliances are installed and used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Make sure chimneys and vents draw all gases out of the home. For new homes, make sure that your chimney is installed by a qualified contractor who knows the technical aspects to be considered during installation.
  • Have the heating system, chimney, and vents inspected and serviced annually by a qualified heating contractor.
  • Never use charcoal jikos indoors.
  • Never heat your home with a gas kitchen range.
  • Always use a kitchen range hood, vented to the outdoors, when cooking on a gas range.
  • Never warm-up or run vehicles or other petrol engines in garages or indoors.
  • For top-of-the-range homes, additional measures such as carbon monoxide alarms can come in handy.

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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.

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