Carbon Monoxide: Silent & Deadly

By Brian Edwards

Carbon Monoxide Detectors as well as Smoke Alarms are an important part of your safety plan. They should be used in addition to annual inspection and maintenance of all fuel burning appliances such as stoves, furnaces, water heaters and fireplaces. Only licensed/qualified service personnel should be allowed to install, inspect or repair any of these appliances. All fuel burning heaters should be correctly vented to the outside with flue pipes properly fitted and in good repair. I have seen several cases where flue pipes have either been poorly fitted or had holes due to corrosion. All had potential to emit deadly carbon monoxide and kill the occupants of the dwelling.

Other sources of the deadly gases should not be ignored. Garages attached to the house are a potential hazard even if not connected by doorways. Doors should be sealed with gas proof weather-stripping and automatic closures. Ensure that there are no holes in the drywall or plaster of adjoining walls or ceilings, which would allow exhaust fumes from vehicles to enter living areas of the home.

Many municipalities have enacted legislation making the installation of detectors mandatory. At least two should be installed as a minimum safety precaution. One should be located in the furnace room within a metre of the furnace and one near the sleeping area. Additional units may be installed near interior entry doors to the garage and outside rooms containing wood stoves or fireplaces. Be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions when installing these units.

Following these as well as other simple tips can ensure your home is really “Home Sweet Home.”

Article by Brian Edwards M.A.A.T.O, B.C.Q, President of Westbrook Building Inspections Ltd. hope this helps and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.

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