Monoxide awareness is essential at this time of the year. Carbon
Monoxide is produced when fuel is not burned completely in a furnace,
fireplace, or hot water heater. Homes with inefficient heating systems
are at risk for increased levels of carbon monoxide. Newer homes
are prone to more rapid CO buildup because they are built to higher
standards of energy efficiency, resulting in less fresh air exchange.
Your first line of protection against carbon monoxide poisoning
is a CO detector. Human senses can't detect carbon monoxide because
it is a colorless, odorless gas. Carbon Monoxide detectors can be
purchased anywhere smoke detectors are sold. Follow the manufacturers
instructions carefully when installing smoke and carbon monoxide
detectors. When I recently needed to replace smoke detectors (they
were more than 10 years old) I opted for a combination smoke and
carbon monoxide detector. If you are a penny pincher, avoid the
temptation to save money in this area. The extra expense of a high
quality detector can't match the value of a life.
Annual servicing of heating systems and regular furnace filter
maintenance reduces the potential for carbon monoxide buildup as
well. With the current increase in heating costs this winter, it
may be tempting to use wood heat. Solid fuel stoves also produce
carbon monoxide. Proper venting for the stove is crucial, as well
as using only recommended fuels. If you use wood as your primary
heat source make sure the chimney flu is cleaned regularly, and
that you burn only seasoned dry wood.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, nausea,
sluggishness and and an overall dull feeling. The effects of prolonged
exposure to carbon monoxide can be cumulative as well. If your carbon
monoxide alarm sounds call 911 from a different location. A fire
officer will be dispatched to your home with a carbon monoxide detector.
Do not reenter the home until advised that it is safe to do so.
Silver Lake Fire Department
"Fight the Fire Before It Starts"
Fire Prevention makes all the difference.
© 2002 City of Silver Lake
308 Main St. W., Silver Lake MN 55381-0347
Phone: 320-327-2412 | Fax: 320-327-2299
Last updated on
Tuesday, 12/15/2009 11:42