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6 Ways to Protect your Family from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Updated: Jul 29, 2021

Carbon monoxide is a natural byproduct of your home heating process. This “silent killer” is a highly toxic gas you can’t see, taste, or smell. A small amount of carbon monoxide can be deadly, especially to infants, pregnant women, seniors, and family pets. In this month’s blog, the home comfort specialists at Main Stream Mechanical list six measures you can take to keep you and your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning.

1. Promote Ventilation.

Gas appliances that burn fuel—such as your furnace, boiler, water heater, and gas stove—ventilate their combustion gases outside. Check all ventilation systems, such as exhaust and dryer vents, and chimneys, to confirm they’re clear of debris that could reduce airflow and block carbon monoxide from making its way outside. During the winter months, clear all snow at least 18 inches from all outside vents. If you use a vented space heater, make sure it has sufficient room for ventilation.

2. Follow a regular maintenance program.

Schedule your fuel-burning appliances for an annual inspection by a certified professionaland follow any additional manufacturer’s recommendations for other required maintenance. If you have a chimney, have it cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep once a year.

3. Professionally install gas appliances.

Improper installation of a fuel-burning appliance can have devastating effects. Never install these appliances yourself. If you are purchasing a gas-burning appliance, contact the technicians at Main Stream Mechanical who will safely install your new appliance.

4. Practice appliance safety.

Keep outdoor gas appliances, such as grills, generators, or lanterns, outside your home, where gases can flow freely in the open air. If you notice that any of your indoor or outdoor gas appliances are not working well or malfunctioning, immediately stop use and have it repaired or replaced.

5. Sound the alarm.

One of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning is installing a carbon monoxide detector. Install at least one alarm on each level of your home, near your family’s sleeping areas, and make sure it’s not blocked by furniture or curtains. Test the detector every month and replace the batteries and the unit itself as recommended by the manufacturer.

6. Observe signs and symptoms.

There are one or two signs you may observe that indicate carbon monoxide is in your home. One sign is condensation on the walls and windows, mostly in the area of your fuel burning appliance. Also, if you detect a stale smell, even after your home has been cleaned, you could have carbon monoxide in your home.

A Note of Caution

It’s important to note that carbon monoxide poisoning can be difficult to diagnose as symptoms are often mistaken for other illnesses. If you think you are experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms, immediately take your family and pets outside your home, contact your local fire department, and seek medical attention.

Home Heating System Installation, Maintenance, and Repair in NH, MA

As you prepare your house for the winter season, call Main Stream Mechanical for an inspection and safety check of your home appliances. Their certified technicians will help you detect and repair anything that is leaking or has been improperly installed, giving you peace of mind. Main Stream Mechanical provides heating system installation, maintenance, and repair in Haverhill, Amesbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Topsfield, Boxford, and other locations across Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire.


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