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Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless toxic gas that kills 400 Americans every year and contributes to over 20,000 emergency room visits, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As the weather continues to cool off and we enter the heating season in Southern California, the increased use of your heater and fireplace can put your family at a greater risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if you’re not prepared.
So before the heating season gets here in full force, here are our top tips to keep your family safe from carbon monoxide this winter.
Installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home is one of the most important steps to keeping your family safe. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas, which means it is undetectable by humans.
Therefore, if there are dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in your home, without carbon monoxide detectors, you wouldn’t even know it.
Placing carbon monoxide detectors: You should have at least one carbon monoxide detector outside your main sleeping area (e.g. in the hallway), but the CDC and others recommend a CO detector on every floor and in every bedroom for increased safety.
Your gas furnace burns fuel to create heat for your home. While under normal circumstances this is a safe and efficient process, furnaces that are not maintained are at a much greater risk of emitting carbon monoxide fumes.
During a heating tune-up, a trained heating technician will thoroughly inspect your furnace to ensure there are no dangerous gas leaks. They will also make sure your furnace is operating safely and efficiently.
Even though we are in a moderate climate, fireplaces are a luxury that many homes have in Southern California. But before lighting your first fire this winter, get your chimney checked out by an expert. (It isn’t necessary to have your chimney swept every year, you should at least have it looked at to make sure it is safe.)
You should also inspect your gas furnace’s vents to ensure they are clear, sealed and free of debris. Obstructions in the vent or flue can cause dangerous fumes like carbon monoxide to build up in your home.
This winter, keep your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning by using these three simple heating safety tips for your Southern California home.
Service Champions is a leading heating and air conditioning company located in Southern California and serving Orange, LA, Riverside and San Bernardino County. Connect with us on Twitter or Facebook for more home tips.