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Carbon monoxide safety reminders

carbon monoxideJust about everyone in northern and central Rhode Island owns at least one appliance that burns fuel – a heating oil-fired furnace or boiler, for example – and if you do, that equipment produces exhaust fumes that could be dangerous under certain circumstances.

One of those exhaust gases is carbon monoxide (CO), and if it builds up in your home if could be hazardous– or even deadly. Here are some important carbon monoxide safety facts to keep in mind throughout the year in your RI home:

  1. Carbon monoxide is produced when you burn gas, wood, oil, or any other fuel
  2. It is often called “The Silent Killer,” since a buildup of the colorless, odorless gas can cause illness, brain damage, or even death
  3. The most common cause of CO build-up are poor ventilation and faulty equipment, which can result from:
    • Equipment damage
    • A poorly maintained heating system
    • A blocked flue or vent
    • A backdraft near the heating appliance
    • Over-operation of unvented appliances
  4. Symptoms of CO poisoning worsen as exposure to the gas increases:
    • Mild cases can cause flu-like symptoms (headaches, nausea, and dizziness)
    • Moderate cases can cause severe headaches and disorientation
    • Extreme Cases can cause vomiting, loss of muscular coordination, and cardiac arrest
  5. If someone in your home is showing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning,
    • Leave the house and get fresh air immediately.
    • Call 911 or your fire department (fire departments sometimes have a special number for CO emergencies – call yours to find out).
    • Visit your doctor
    • Have a professional inspect your equipment before you use it again.
  6. Install carbon monoxide alarms outside each sleeping area, on every level of the home. Replace the batteries at least once a year, and replace the unit every five years.
  7. Perform routine maintenance on any fuel-burning appliance every year; if you see soot anywhere on your furnace or boiler unit, call for service immediately.
  8. NEVER use outdoor equipment, such as a portable generator or grill, inside the house.
  9. Learn and teach everyone in your home about the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning and what to do if they experience them.

When you become a Discount Oil Brokers customer, you’ll get safe heating oil deliveries in RI every time, because your safety is always our #1 priority. Contact us today to learn more.

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