Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Carbon Monoxide

When the weather gets cold people do innocently stupid things that can kill them. Heating the house by leaving the oven door open on the gas stove, cooking in the fireplace, sitting in the closed garage in the car with the engine idling. Not good ideas. They can result in the formation of carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless, tasteless and deadly gas.

Natural gas, liquefied petroleum, kerosene, coal, oil or wood, even cigarettes can produce carbon monoxide. The usual appliance sources are:

  • The fireplace
  • Gas water heater
  • Gas stove
  • Gas or kerosene heater
  • Gas or oil furnace

Poisoning Symptoms:

  • Flu like
  • Stinging, watery eyes
  • Nausea
  • Achy feeling
  • Dizziness


Huge doses of oxygen at a hospital

Telltale Signs of Trouble:

  • Burner flames that are yellow and waver
  • Pilot lights that flutter or continuously go out
  • The fireplace damper is open but smoke still drafts back into the room
  • Garage has no exhaust vent to outside
  • Garage vents to inside of house


Have fireplace chimney professionally cleaned and inspected annually and resist using an appliance in a way it was not originally intended. Cooking in the fireplace is not a good idea.

No comments: