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Carbon Monoxide Home Checklist

Carbon Monoxide Home Checklist
 
This year, an estimated 400 to 500 people will die needlessly due to carbon monoxide poisoning and thousands more will be hospitalized. It is the number one source of accidental poisoning and Autumn is the time of greatest risk because people are firing up their gas furnaces, boilers, wood stoves, space heaters, and other seasonal combustion appliances for the first time in six months or more. Everything may appear to operate fine. Things may appear safe. But carbon monoxide is insidious. You cannot see it, smell it, or taste it. It is particularly dangerous to unborn children, babies, and small infants. The following checklists will help you minimize the risk in your home.
3 Ways Furnaces and Boilers Can Place Your Home at Risk
If you have an older furnace or boiler, carbon monoxide poisoning risks are heightened by…
  • Loose vent pipes
  • Fatigued metal that cracks
  • Corrosion from condensation

6 Danger Signs You Can Observe
If you observe any of the following warning signs, get a professional to perform an inspection immediately…

  • Rust or water streaks on your furnace vent or chimney
  • Loose or missing furnace panels
  • Soot or debris in or around your furnace or boiler
  • Loose or disconnected vent pipes
  • Loose masonry on masonry chimneys
  • Moisture inside your windows

5 Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is tasteless, odorless, and colorless. Life threatening levels of carbon monoxide poisoning may be present if you experience the following…

  • Severe headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Faintness
 
4 Symptoms of Mild Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
The signs of mild levels of carbon monoxide poisoning include…
  • Shortness of breath
  • Mild nausea
  • Mild headaches
  • Flu symptoms that disappear when leaving home and come back after returning home

4 Immediate Action Steps if You Suspect Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, immediately…

  • Open doors and windows
  • Turn off the combustion appliances
  • Leave the home
  • Go to an emergency room and tell the doctor you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning. A blood test administered soon after the exposure to carbon monoxide can provide confirmation

2 Sources of Additional Information
For more information on carbon monoxide poisoning, contact…

  • EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Information Clearinghouse at 800.438.4318
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission at 800.638.2772.

3 Problems You Cannot See
It is recommended that you hire a professional to conduct a safety check on your heating system each Autumn to check for…

  • Internal damage to your equipment
  • Malfunctioning components
  • Hidden blockage or damage in the vent or chimney

© 2002 Service Roundtable
 
 
 
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