Be aware of dangerous carbon monoxide build up

November 10, 2011 03:57 PM
The Galesburg Fire Department would like to offer a reminder for homeowners to be aware of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning as we come into the winter season. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death. It is created in combustion fumes produced by gas ranges, heating systems, gas operated equipment, stoves, lanterns, and burning charcoal and wood. Carbon monoxide from these sources can build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces. The most susceptible to CO poisoning are infants, the elderly and people with heart and respiratory related illnesses.
Here are some simple safety tips:
  • All gas appliances must be vented so that CO doesn’t accumulate inside.
  • Never burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented.
  • Have chimney and exhaust vents checked each year.
  • Horizontal vent pipes shouldn’t be perfectly level. Indoor vent pipes should incline slightly as they go outdoors.
  • When purchasing or installing gas equipment, only use equipment carrying a seal of a national testing agency.
  • Install CO detectors and replace the batteries (if applicable) in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Illinois’ state law requires that all homes with fuel burning appliances or attached garages must install a working CO alarm within 15 feet of every bedroom in the home.
Remember, carbon monoxide is a silent killer – you cannot see it, smell it or taste it. The only safe way to detect this lethal gas is to install a working CO detector. The Galesburg Fire Department wishes everyone a happy, healthy and safe new year.


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