Do you have carbon monoxide testers near all of your fuel-burning appliances? Carbon monoxide is a potential output near any appliance that burns fuel for heating. This includes your stove, fireplace, dryer, ovens and water heater, just to name a few. At TN Chimney & Home, we want to let you know why it is imperative to your household’s safety that carbon monoxide detectors are placed in strategic places around your home.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that is often called the “silent killer” because it can’t be seen, smelled or tasted. Carbon monoxide in small amounts can lead to headaches, body aches, dizziness, shortness of breath, fatigue and nausea. However, in larger amounts, it can lead to confusion, unconsciousness and even death. Carbon monoxide is produced when most types of fuel are burned. Your home’s fuel-burning appliances are designed to either vent, shut off, or burn hot enough to reduce carbon monoxide output into your home to a safe level. However, no appliance is perfect 100 percent of the time and it only takes one clogged vent or one malfunctioning appliance to create a potentially devastating situation.

What can I do to protect my home from carbon monoxide?

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) suggests installing carbon monoxide detectors (sometimes labeled CO detectors) strategically throughout your home. CO detectors are designed to detect carbon monoxide and give a warning if it is detected. You should install CO detectors in central locations outside of sleeping areas. Also place CO detectors near fuel-burning appliances such as dryers, stoves and fireplaces. If you see anyone suffering from any of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning (listed above), get that person, yourself and anyone else in your home outdoors and into fresh air immediately. Next, call 911 for further instructions.

The best way to avoid carbon monoxide gas from entering your home is to have all heating and ventilation systems in your home inspected annually by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney and ventilation technician. A certified technician will be able to tell if there are any blockages in your ventilation systems and will make sure that all your heating appliances are in good running condition.

Remember that the fight to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning needs to be faced on multiple fronts:

-Know where there is potential for carbon monoxide poisoning
-Install CO detectors in areas that have the potential for carbon monoxide
-Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
-Keep vents and fuel burning appliances unclogged and in working order with annual inspections from a CSIA-certified technician

If you are unsure of where there is potential for carbon monoxide or you want to make sure your fuel-burning appliances are working properly, TN Chimney & Home can help. Call Knoxville’s only CSIA-certified chimney technician at (865) 258-3473, or contact us online to schedule an appointment today!