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Home Heating Systems and Carbon Monoxide

All homeowners should be aware of the risks of carbon monoxide exposure caused by your appliances, furnace, fireplace, or chimney. If you are considering selling or buying a house, expect a home inspection for carbon monoxide emissions. The results could effect your decision.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

  • Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that interferes with delivery of oxygen in the blood to the rest of the body, damaging body tissue and killing cells.
  • Carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete combustion of carbon-containing fuels.
  • Coal, wood, charcoal, natural gas, and fuel emit carbon monoxide.
  • Other sources include; gas heaters, furnaces, gas stoves, fireplaces, water heaters, and the exhaust from your unvented generator in an attached garage.

Problems with carbon monoxide exposure arise as a result of improper or inadequate installation, maintenance, or ventilation of furnaces, fireplaces, and chimneys.

Carbon Monoxide Symptoms and Health Risks

Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause; loss of coordination, worsen cardiovascular conditions, and produce fatigue, headache, weakness, disorientation, nausea, and dizziness.

High levels of carbon monoxide exposure can result in death. Symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure are sometimes confused with the flu or food poisoning.

Pregnant women, infants, elderly, and people with heart and respiratory illnesses are particularly at high risk for adverse health effects. More than 400 people die each year as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning and thousands of others end up in hospital emergency rooms.

Taking Steps to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Sometimes, chimneys can be blocked by birds' or squirrels' nests and cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to enter a home. This danger can be lessened by having the chimney and fuel burning appliances professionally maintained every year.

A carbon-monoxide alarm will provide added protection. Proper placement of a carbon monoxide detector is important. Victims of carbon monoxide poisoning may become unconsciousness, a loud alarm is necessary to wake them.

Additional detectors on every level, and every bedroom to provide extra protection. Do not install carbon monoxide detectors within fifteen feet of heating or cooking appliances or in/near humid areas, such as bathrooms. Carbon monoxide rises with warm air temperature, so mounting the device on or near the ceiling is often recommended.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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