Posts Tagged ‘CO detectors’

Gas leaks and Carbon Monoxide Problems in CA

July 23, 2009

This is a bit disconcerting, folks.  In 14 of the last 18 homes we’ve visited on home assessments in California, we’ve found either significant gas leaks, carbon monoxide or combustion issues or all of the above.   In New York, it’s more like 20-25% of the time.  Either way, this is serious stuff.  Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas produced by incomplete combustion of fuels like gas, oil, and wood—and it can kill you.  At lower doses, CO can worsen heart conditions, and cause fatigue, headache, weakness, confusion, disorientation, nausea, and dizziness.  

Have a qualified technician inspect your fuel-burning appliances and chimneys to make sure they are operating and venting correctly.  And install a CO alarm.  We are required to install a UL listed alarm, and I have several in my own home.  As an additional level of protection, I also have a CO Experts monitor which provides readings at a much lower level.

NOTE:  ANYONE WHOSE CO ALARM IS GOING OFF SHOULD IMMEDIATELY GET OUT OF THE HOUSE, CALL 911, and seek help from a professional to locate and fix the source of the problem.

Don’t wait for an alarm to go off, though.  Check out the National Safety Council’s general recommendations.   As mentioned, all homeowners should get at least an annual check-up on their heating and hot-water system to make sure they are operating properly.  And anytime you make changes to your home, from building an addition, to adding air-conditioning, to changing your windows, you should have an expert make sure that all equipment is operating and venting properly.

Regarding the gas leaks, the big risk there is fire or explosion.  While you’re getting your appliances serviced, ask to have your gas lines checked, too.

Safety is more important than energy-efficiency–and that’s why we begin and end every project with safety testing.

Be safe!
Mike


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