Avoiding Carbon Monoxide poisoning in your home

Posted: August 12, 2010 by DIY Big Boss in Fireplace / Surrounds / Gas Heaters / Hearths
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Carbon monoxide is a product of poor combustion.  It is odourless, colourless and tasteless.  Worst of all it can kill.

So how do you protect yourself against something you cannot sense.  Well there are a number of ways, but first lets get to the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Basically it will feel suddenly like you have the flu or a viral infection.  Early carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms include tiredness, shortness of breath, mild headaches and nausea.  These symptoms will quickly get worse causing dizziness and vomiting.

First thing to do if you suddenly start feeling this way and you have a gas appliance running, such as a heater, oven etc, is to turn it off and get to a well ventilated area, preferably outside.  If you do not start feeling better visit a doctor.

Carbon Monoxide is generated by a blocked flue pipe, sealed up air vents, faulty appliances or the use of camping appliances indoors.  To avoid the threat of monoxide poisoning, there are some simple steps you can take:

* Get your gas appliances checked at least every two years.  See our earlier article here about paying attention to your gas heater.

* Ensure that your barbeque is positioned away from a direct entry to the house (window or door) to minimise risk of deadly gas entering the house.

* Never run your cars in an attached garage, even with the garage door open, a gust of wind can send those fumes into the house.

* Ensure that your ventilation units are kept clear and are tested regularly.

* If using camping equipment ensure that you create adequate ventilation such as opening doors or windows, and that you store the appliance outside of the closed area before you go to sleep.

The best thing you can do is know the symptoms of early poisoning and act responsibly around gas.  Check back next week as we explore whether Carbon Monoxide detectors for the home are a worthwhile investment.

The DIY Bargain Bin stocks a range of items relating to fireplaces and gas heaters, so check it out!

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