Summer is soon going to be drawing to a close, and with the end of summer comes the beginning of cold temperatures. As such, people across the country are about to begin firing up heating units and other appliances designed to ward off frigid air. But before you decide to plug in your space heater or throw a log in the fireplace, it’s important that you know a few safety procedures that can be followed to ensure a carbon monoxide danger won’t present itself. The following tips come courtesy of a new report out of Portland, Oregon’s Fox 12.
One thing that a person can do before the winter even begins is to simply make sure that all combustible equipment is properly maintained. That way, it’s ready to go and you don’t have to worry about a danger at the moment when an item is needed the most. This includes giving a quick inspection to any gas appliances that might be in your possession and adjusting the settings properly so as to ensure safety.
Ventilation is one of the most important things to consider as you turn on your appliances. At those moments where you know carbon monoxide will be in the air in heightened amounts, make sure that windows are opened and the air can get out of the room. To further encourage steady ventilation, consider getting rid of an unvented space heater in favor of a unit that vents. And for those people whose kitchens have a gas stove in place of a convection unit, consider having an exhaust fan put in above the appliance.
Vehicle safety is something that people might not necessarily think about when it comes to carbon monoxide, but automobiles can pose a very real threat to residences. Anyone who is going to be using a vehicle near a building needs to be careful that long-term use isn’t going to compromise the residents of that building. And when you go to park a vehicle in a garage, don’t let it sit in an idle state. Turn off the vehicle until you’re ready to leave again.
You also want to double check certain other things. Whenever you get ready to use the fireplace, check that the flues are open. If you have a wood stove, then verify that the doors are tightly in place and that the unit itself conforms to standards set by the EPA. Finally, submit to an annual check on your home’s heating system. That way, a professional who would spot deficiencies that you might miss will provide yet one more safeguard against carbon monoxide-related disaster.