The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

A man repairing a smoke detector.

Carbon monoxide, a deadly but odorless gas, is produced anytime you burn fossil fuels. To keep your family safe this winter, here are some prevention and safety tips.

1. Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector. Just like a smoke detector, a carbon monoxide detector will alert your family if it detects the gas in your air. Place CO detectors near all sleeping areas and your furnace, water heater, and fireplace. Avoid areas near windows where fresh air might prevent the detector from activating. Connect all your CO detectors throughout the house so that if one goes off, they all go off. Make sure to test each detector monthly and keep the batteries fresh.

2. Maintain Your Equipment. Have Haldeman Mechanical inspect your HVAC system and water heater annually to identify any areas of concern and prevent leaks that can harm your family. Also have your chimney inspected and/or cleaned annually.

3. Use Caution with Fuel-Burning Equipment. Never use charcoal grills or portable gas stoves inside. If you need to use an emergency generator, place it outside your home and at least 20 feet away from windows and doors so carbon monoxide does not blow into your home. Only use space heaters when there is adequate air flow in and out of the room.

4. Maintain Your Vehicles. Have your car’s exhaust system inspected annually to ensure it is operating properly. If you have an attached garage, don’t leave your car running inside, even with the door open as fumes can still seep into the house. If your car has a tailgate, make sure to open windows when driving with the tailgate down – it is possible for carbon monoxide to be sucked back into the car.