You probably already know about the dangers carbon monoxide. And if you don’t, here’s the scoop: exposure to this dangerous and odorless gas can cause serious illness or death. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 2,244 deaths occurred from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning between 2010-2015. Just like a smoke detector, having a working carbon monoxide detector in your Jacksonville home is important to keeping you and your family safe.
CARBON MONOXIDE DANGERS IN YOUR HOME
Even though your heater has likely been put to rest until next winter, carbon monoxide risks still lurk around your home. Carbon monoxide gas can travel through wallboard or where any air leaks may be around you home, including gaps or cracks around plumbing pipes, windows or doors. This silent killer can remain unnoticed without a carbon monoxide detector.
Homes that have any appliances that burn fuel, fireplaces or attached garages need CO detectors. A buildup of carbon monoxide can occur if vents are clogged or leaks occur in any of these items, such as:
- Gas stoves, dryers and water heaters
- Wood burning stoves and fireplaces
- Propane stoves and furnaces
FLORIDA CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR REQUIREMENTS
Under Florida Statute 553.885, all new homes or homes that have had additions since July 1, 2008 that have fossil-fuel burning heaters or appliances, must have carbon monoxide detectors installed. The same goes if these homes have fireplaces or attached garages. A carbon monoxide detector must be installed within 10 feet of each bedroom in the home. These detectors can either be hard-wired or battery-powered. Properly installed combination CO and smoke detectors will also meet the state’s requirement.
PREVENTING CARBON MONOXIDE TRAGEDIES
Even if your home is older or you have remodeled it without adding an addition, having carbon monoxide detectors installed is an important safety upgrade. Once you have your detectors installed, do not forget to test them regularly and replace batteries to prevent a tragedy from happening. When installing CO detectors in your home, make sure that they receive adequate air flow and are not blocked by furniture.
If one of your carbon monoxide detectors does go off:
- Get everyone out of your home to safety.
- Turn off your heat if on or any appliances that burn fuel.
- Call the fire department.
- Open all the doors and windows to air out your home.
- Call a professional to determine the source of your carbon monoxide leak.
While CO detectors will alert you to dangerous levels of CO gas in your home, they do not always detect smaller amounts of carbon monoxide that can be present in your home. You should take additional steps to decrease the risk of carbon monoxide exposure in your home. This includes having your heater professionally serviced each year. An annual HVAC tune-up will include an inspection of your HVAC system for proper operation and testing for carbon monoxide leaks.
Don’t leave your family’s health and safety to chance. Make sure your home is protected with carbon monoxide detectors. If you have not had your heater serviced recently, now is a good time to schedule service with Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning.