DON’T RE-ENTER THE BUILDING until an emergency official has determined the building is safe and you’ve been given permission to do so.
Your heating system can produce carbon monoxide (CO) if it is not working properly or inadequately vented, whether you heat your home with natural gas, oil, propane, coal or wood. Carbon monoxide is also produced by internal combustion engines used in cars, trucks, generators, and other gasoline-powered equipment
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, odorless, colorless gas that can be fatal. Any suspected carbon monoxide exposure is an emergency.
Signs Indicating the Presence of Carbon Monoxide in the Home
- Excess moisture on inside of windows
- Stuffy, stale or smelly air
- Yellowish wavering flames on appliances
- Soot coming from a fireplace or heating system
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often confused with those of influenza, and the highest incidence of poisoning occurs during the heating and flu seasons.
Symptoms Can Include:
- Shortness of breath
- Mental confusion
- Loss of muscle control.
High concentrations of carbon monoxide can lead to unconsciousness, brain damage or death.
However, victims may experience only one or a few – if any – of these symptoms. You should suspect the presence of carbon monoxide if symptoms tend to disappear when you leave the building.
Prevent Carbon Monoxide Emergencies
Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every floor of your home and placed near sleeping areas. Be sure to check CO detectors regularly for proper functioning.
Valley Energy recommends that you have your natural gas appliances serviced annually by a trained professional. In addition to keeping your appliances operating at optimal efficiency for energy conservation, this is one of the best ways to prevent carbon monoxide emergencies.
- Your chimney or vent pipes should also be checked each year for blockages. A professional chimney sweep should be contacted immediately if you find any problems.
- Similarly, make sure your home is adequately ventilated, especially if you have recently insulated or renovated your home, or enclosed your heating system.
- Always make sure to clear any snow, ice or debris that accumulates around vents, gas meters, regulator vents and any other outdoor piping.