Make Sure Your Home is Safe Against the Invisible Killer
Carbon monoxide kills hundreds and sickens thousands of Americans every year. The poisonous gas cannot be smelled, which is why many states require carbon monoxide detectors in homes and apartment buildings. A little planning combined with a small investment can protect you and your family from this odorless and invisible killer.
Carbon monoxide fumes can come from many sources, including stoves, faulty furnaces or car exhaust. That’s why you should have all fuel burning appliances installed by professionals - and never use a stove or oven to heat a home. Technically, carbon monoxide is produced when fuels do not burn completely. Whether you use natural gas, liquefied petroleum (LP gas), oil, kerosene or wood as fuel in your home, you are producing carbon monoxide. To detect this poisonous gas leaks consumers should equip their homes with carbon monoxide detectors.
“It is very important to have a carbon monoxide detector in your house. Put one on every floor of the house, especially bedrooms and upstairs,” says Allan Robinson, assistant vice president of claims for Encompass Insurance. “If the detector’s alarm goes off, you should immediately go outside for some fresh air, then call 911 for emergency services.”
Encompass Insurance also recommends that you test your carbon monoxide detectors twice a year to make sure the circuitry is working properly.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers more information on the dangers of carbon monoxide and the proper use of carbon monoxide detectors on its web site.
Encompass Insurance offers other tips for staying safe:
- Never leave a car running in an attached garage, even with the garage door open.
- Never use gas appliances such as ranges, ovens, or clothes dryers for heating your home.
- Carbon monoxide detectors are made for boats and recreational vehicles as well, so keep this in mind as you prepare for summer.