While we’re South Shore MA roofers who specialize in safety related to your residential roof or commercial roof, we want to do all we can to keep our New England neighbors safe on a variety of home and business fronts, regardless of the season! So, we’re sharing another in a series of posts related to home and business safety.
During the months of winter, how many times have you listened to the news and learned of a family that was made deathly ill, or that even perished, from Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning? We always think such a thing could never happen to us, but that’s only true if we take the necessary precautions to keep our homes and businesses CO-safe, particularly during the months of winter when CO Poisoning impacts the largest number of individuals.
Why are CO-related deaths and emergency room visits so high in December, January, February and March? Due to extremely cold temperatures and/or power outages, more people use gas-powered furnaces and well as use inside their homes or offices alternative heating sources that weren’t meant to be used inside or in an enclosed space –- sources like charcoal grills or propane stoves and grills.
So, before snow starts accumulating and icicles start forming, and as you make preparations for the holidays and associated celebrations and visitors, add these to your to-do list:
- Buy a battery-powered or battery back-up CO detector if you don’t already have one – one for every level of your home – and set them up there.
- Unless you’ve had one in the last nine months, schedule a check-up with a qualified technician for your heating system, water heater, and other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances.
Once and while snow is in the air, on the ground, and on your roof, be sure to adhere to the following on an ongoing basis:
- Keep vents and flues free, i.e., unblocked – whether it be from any kind of debris, snow or ice. This means furnace vents, intake valves and chimneys should be kept snow-free.
- Related to what we shared at the beginning of our blog post, never burn anything in a stove or fireplace that is not vented.
- Even when bitter cold or power outages hit, never use a hibachi, charcoal grill, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper. If it’s too cold to stay in your home, go to emergency shelters or centers set up by your town, such as a school.
- Never heat your home with a gas stove.
And, regardless of the time of year, make sure you follow these CO Poisoning Prevention Guidelines:
- Never run the motor in your car, truck, or other vehicle in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
- Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from an open window, door, or vent – you don’t want exhaust to vent into an enclosed area.
- The same guideline above for the same machinery/vehicles/tools above apply to a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure. Keeping the doors or windows open may not be enough to prevent CO poisoning. So don’t risk operating the aforementioned in these spots.
- Recognize these symptoms of CO poisoning, including dizziness, light-headed-ness, and nausea.
- Any time you suspect CO poisoning, or your CO detector sounds, leave your house or business, and call 911 or a health care professional right away.
Remember Carbon Monoxide Is An Odorless and Colorless Gas, So When In Doubt, Have Your Home or Business Checked Out! And, Be Sure to Read About What You Can Do on the Ice Dam Prevention and Ice Dam Removal Fronts to Keep Your Family Safe This Winter!