One of the leading causes of accidental death in the United States is Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. This odorless, colorless gas is a silent killer that most of don’t even realize that they are in any danger. Still, there are ways that you can protect yourself and your family. CO monitors work similar to smoke alarms, and can alert you to possible high levels of CO. Also, regular chimney maintenance will keep your appliance from blockages that can force smoke back into the home when it’s in use.

When placing your CO monitor, make sure you have one on every level of the house. Carbon Monoxide comes from a number of sources besides your fireplace, such as oven ranges, clothes dryers, and furnaces. Because CO is slightly lighter than air, you will need to place the detector at least five feet above the floor. Also, be sure to always place a monitor near the sleeping areas of the home, because it will be impossible to notice the signs of CO poisoning if you are sleeping.

Regular chimney maintenance will keep things like animal nests, leaves and brush, and other obstructions out of the way of your chimney. Besides being a fire hazard, obstructions keep the smoke from properly exiting the chimney. With no other place to go, smoke will go back into your home and poison your breathing air. Also, when going to start a fire in your fireplace, don’t forget to make sure your flue is open.

Here are some of the dangerous effects of CO poisoning:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Unconsciousness

If a member of your family is is experiencing any combination of these signs, call emergency services immediately. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need your chimney inspected. Especially if it has been awhile. We will come in, and make sure your chimney and fireplace are operating efficiently and safely.