Stay Safe While Staying Warm: Avoiding CO Poisoning

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Autumn is in full swing and Thanksgiving is on the way.

For many of us, that means we’ve probably either already turned on the heat or soon will. And, that also means that the risk we have of exposure to carbon monoxide has increased.

That is why November is National Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month.

Your Brooklyn heating specialists at Petri Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Drain Cleaning, Heating, Cooling & Drain Cleaning want you to stay safe this winter by familiarizing yourself with this information about CO:

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What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, flammable gas that is caused by the incomplete burning of natural gas or other carbon products. It can be created in your home by your furnace or any other fuel-burning device.

It is also very toxic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 10,000 Americans go to the emergency room as a result of accidental CO poisoning, and at least 420 people die from exposure.

Because CO is found in fumes produced by furnaces, kerosene heaters, vehicles warmed up in closed garages and portable generators, winter is the time when most of this exposure occurs.

Homeowners need to be aware of CO in their homes and know when their family has been exposed to this deadly gas.

Recognize CO Poisoning

Homeowners need to be vigilant in preventing CO exposure and in recognizing when someone has been exposed.

Furnaces and gas stoves should have blue flames on the appliance burners. If you see a yellow flame or black soot around vents or burners, turn off the heat immediately.

And, if you or anyone in your family has the following symptoms after noticing trouble with your appliances, call 9-1-1:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Fatigue
  • Increased perspiration
  • Nausea

Prevent CO Poisoning

The best way to prevent a trip to the ER, however, is to prevent exposure to begin with. Here are some tips that will help:

  • Install and maintain a carbon monoxide detector
  • Have chimneys and flues regularly maintained
  • Have regular maintenance on your heating system
  • Do not use a stove or oven to heat your home
  • Do not use a space heater in your home that is not rated for indoor use

The holidays are coming and Petri hopes you have a wonderful time. Staying safe is part of that.

If you suspect an issue with your furnace or natural gas lines, call Petri at (718) 748-1254 to set up an appointment. If the problem is more urgent, call 9-1-1 immediately.

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