Carbon Monoxide & Your Safety
In our previous two blog articles, we discussed propane safety and propane appliance maintenance. We’d like to continue keeping our customers and other readers informed on how to safely live with propane – a fuel that has a long-standing record of safety, versatility and dependability. This month, we’d like to discuss carbon monoxide and carbon monoxide poisoning, the symptoms of CO poisoning and how to reduce the risk of it happening in your home.
What is Carbon Monoxide (CO)?
CO is a very dangerous gas that’s produced when any fuel burns. It has no smell or taste, and high levels of CO can come from appliances that are not operating correctly, or from a venting system or chimney that becomes blocked. High levels of CO can lead to CO poisoning, causing you to feel dizzy or sick, and can also be fatal.
Symptoms of CO Poisoning Include:
- Shortness of Breath
If You Suspect CO to be Present, Act Immediately!
If you or a family member shows physical symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the building and call 911 or your local dire department. If it’s safe to do so, open windows to allow entry of fresh air, and turn off any appliances you suspect may be releasing CO. If no one is exhibiting symptoms but you suspect the presence of CO, call North Shore Oil to check the CO levels and your propane equipment.
Help Reduce the Risk of CO Poisoning by Following These Tips:
- Have a North Shore Oil service technician check your propane appliances and related venting systems annually, preferably before the heating season begins
- Install UL-listed CO detectors on every level of your home
- Never use a gas oven or range-top burners to provide space heating
- Never use portable heating indoors unless they are designed and approved for indoor use
- Never use a barbecue grill (propane or charcoal) indoors for cooking or heating
- Regularly check your appliance exhaust vents for blockage
Signs of Improper Appliance Operation That Can Generate High CO Levels:
- Sooting, especially on appliances and vents
- Unfamiliar or burning odor
- Increased moisture inside of windows
Be Safe, Not Sorry!
If at any moment you suspect a propane leak or high levels of CO, don’t hesitate to call North Shore Oil right away! We don’t care if you’re right or wrong, we just want you and your family to be safe. We hope that this information helps – enjoy your summer!