Tips to Keep Your Home Safe from Carbon Monoxide Leaks

Tips to Keep Your Home Safe from Carbon Monoxide Leaks

Most people understand the dangers of an in-home gas leak, but they aren’t always aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly, which is why the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) refers to it as a silent killer.  CO leaks can emerge from gas-fueled water heaters, furnaces, generators and/or stoves.

One homeowner we spoke with recalled an incident his daughter had when she was at college. She and her roommate had rented an apartment off campus, and during the winter (after their furnace had been repaired), they both started to feel lethargic, dizzy and sick. Although the man’s daughter initially suspected she had the flu, her father was concerned the furnace repair caused a CO leak. His suspicions proved to be correct.

home watch serviceThe home had been outfitted with a smoke detector, he said, but it didn’t have a carbon monoxide detector. Had that been the case, the leak would have been detected promptly.

The National Fire Protection Agency recommends that CO detectors be installed on each floor of your home. It’s further recommended that the devices be installed a minimum 15 feet of where a potential leak might occur, which means you’ll want to have one installed close to your furnace, your stove and your water heater. Installing a CO detector closer than 15 feet could lead to false alarms, so you’ll want to take steps to ensure that doesn’t happen.

You can purchase CO detectors online or at a local big box retailer. Although some people prefer to buy a device that can be plugged into an outlet, it’s best to buy one that offers a battery backup. This will ensure your home is still protected in the event of a power outage. Much like smoke detectors, you’ll want to check the batteries (and the alarm function) every six months and you’ll want to clean / dust the device monthly.

In the event an alarm does begin to sound, you’ll want to open windows and doors, move outdoors and call emergency personnel right away.

Installing a CO detector is just one layer of protection you can add to your home. However, if you’re planning on being away from SWFL for several weeks or months, there are other steps you should take to ensure your asset is protected. For more information on how a home watch service can help protect your house or condo, call Gulf Shore Home Watch & Concierge today to learn more.