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Safety Tip of the Month

Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips for Your Home
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless and nearly odorless gas that’s created by the incomplete burning of solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels. Appliances that burn LP gas (liquefied petroleum), oil, coal, kerosene, coal, or wood may produce carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is also poisonous to animals and people. Symptoms of its effects include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

To prevent CO poisoning, take these precautions:

  • Buy and install a CO alarm. Make sure it is listed with Underwriters Laboratories or that there is information on the package that indicates that it meets the requirements of IAS 6-96 standards. Follow the directions for placement and installation.
  • Install appliances properly. Most of them should be installed by a professional.
  • Practice good maintenance. Have your heating system (furnaces, flues, and chimneys) inspected and serviced by a professional every year.
  • Burn charcoal outdoors only. Never burn it in a tent, home, garage, vehicle, etc. Don’t use portable fuel-burning camping equipment indoors or inside tents, etc.
  • Make sure you turn off fuel-burning engine equipment when you are inside a garage or basement. Just having the doors open does not ensure your safety.
  • Always follow the manual directions when servicing fuel-burning equipment.
  • Do not use gas appliances, such as ranges, ovens, or clothes dryers to heat your home.
  • If you use a fuel-burning appliance that is approved for indoors, make sure it is vented to the outside following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Install and use exhaust fans over gas stoves.
  • Open flues when you use your fireplace.
  • If you buy a wood-burning stove, make sure it’s the proper size for your home.
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