Luckily, a family member happened to drop by the home, and found at least one of the family members unconscious due to carbon monoxide poisoning. What do you need to know to keep your family safe.
Tony Oakman with Lee’s Heating and Air Conditioning gives some tips.
1. Carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless and invisible—so your home could have dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide present, and you wouldn’t even be aware of this problem.
2. Lee’s Heating and Air owner Tony Oakman estimates that of the furnaces he and his staff see every year, about 30 percent of these exceed industry safety standards when it comes to carbon monoxide levels. (The West Jordan family’s home had more than carbon monoxide levels of 400 parts per million, and levels of more than 50 parts per million warrant immediate evacuation according to a recent article in the Deseret Morning News.)
3. In order for families to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, it’s essential that they have all their gas appliances, and especially their furnace/heating systems checked on a regular basis. Tony Oakman suggests that systems are checked at least once a year.
4. At Lee’s Heating and Air, a carbon monoxide test is part of the company’s regular service/furnace tune-up. “In addition to checking for carbon monoxide problems, regular servicing of furnaces also ensures they’re operating efficiently, which leads to lower energy bills and a longer life for your furnace,” Tony says.
5. Carbon monoxide monitors alone may not be enough to protect families from serious problems and even death. Tony says, “Regardless of how many carbon monoxide monitors a family has in their home, and where they’re placed, these devices may not always provide enough warning time for families to escape safely. In fact, by the time the monitors make a noise, people could already be unconscious, and therefore, unable to move outdoors to escape the poison.”
6. Even the Environmental Protection Agency, which advocates the use of carbon monoxide monitors, warns that people shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the detectors. (The Web site, Personal MD, also suggests that during the past few years, there have been frequent recalls on carbon monoxide monitors, and that “they are generally not regarded as reliable as today’s smoke detectors.”)
7. It’s essential that furnaces have adequate ventilation in order to operate properly, and to avoid carbon monoxide problems. So, make sure that you don’t stack a lot of boxes or other items too close to your furnace—give it room to breathe.
Give Lee’s Heating and Air Conditioning a call at (801) 747-LEES (5337), go to their website at www.leesheatac.com or visit one of the three stores in Salt Lake, American Fork or Ogden