Carbon Monoxide

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is produced when natural gas fails to burn completely, this can have deadly consequences. Such gasses are propane and other fossil fuels. The most common source of carbon monoxide poisoning is from natural gas appliances that have malfunctioned. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer as it is a colourless and odourless gas.

Do you know the danger signs?

There are a few warning signs that your natural gas appliance is not functioning properly, so be sure to watch out for the following:

  • Staining, sooting or discolouration around the appliance.
  • Appliances that burn slowly, badly (orange or ‘floppy’ flames) or go out.
  • A yellow or orange flame where normally blue.
  • Condensation or dampness on walls and windows in the room once the appliance is lit.
  • A strange smell when the appliance is on.
  • Rusting or water streaking on appliance cabinet/vent/chimney.
  • Loose or disconnected vent/chimney connections or guards.

How can I prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?

There are many ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, below is a list of just some of the very basic ways to prevent carbon monoxide.

  • When buying an oil or gas appliance, deal with a reputable outlet.
  • Never store items in, on or around a gas appliance that might obstruct air flow.
  • Make sure your furnace and water heater are inspected annually by a professional. This is the first line of defence in CO prevention.
  • Be sure to clean or replace your furnace filter often, and check your chimney and vents for blockages.
  • Be safe – install a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector.
  • Don’t line oven or range burners with foil.
  • Check fireplaces for closed or blocked flues.
  • Get your chimney inspected, swept and cleaned as needed.
  • Periodically check range pilots for carbon build-up.