Cozy homes and holiday meals rely on furnaces and ovens, but these same appliances can expose you, your family and guests to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. This colourless gas has no odour. It is a waste product from the combustion of natural gas and other fuels. A poorly ventilated kitchen or malfunctioning furnace or water heater could leak this gas into the home and potentially inflict serious injury or even death on the occupants.
Fortunately, you can prevent your holiday festivities from turning into a tragedy by following a few easy safety practices.
- Ventilate the Kitchen
Gas ranges and ovens produce tiny amounts of carbon monoxide while operating. The preparation of holiday meals often involves long periods of cooking. To eliminate gas build-up, run the exhaust fan or vent hood in the kitchen.
- Never Use a Stove for Heat
Gas stoves are normally safe to operate for cooking purposes but should never be used to heat a room. Sometimes people resort to lighting the oven if the furnace breaks down or the power fails. Heating with the kitchen stove, however, is very risky because it is an improper use that expels excessive carbon monoxide.
- Maintain Furnaces and Water Heaters
Many people’s furnaces and water heaters burn natural gas. As the home’s primary consumers of natural gas, they pose the greatest risk of polluting a home with carbon monoxide. Cold temperatures or multiple showers taken by people throughout the day increase the demands on these appliances. Have a professional inspect them annually to confirm that they are exhausting fumes properly.
- Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector
The best way to prevent carbon monoxide buildup in your home is with a carbon monoxide detector. These sound an alarm if gas levels get too high.
Are you a homeowner or renter who needs advice about carbon monoxide detectors? Contact one of our licensed electricians at AJ’s Electrical Service & Repair.