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No matter what time of year, carbon monoxide is a deadly gas. Unfortunately in the winter months, carbon monoxide gas is even more deadly. Often furnaces are run by gas, which can cause carbon monoxide build-up if they’re not used properly.

There are several steps you can take to protect your family against carbon monoxide throughout the year:

Purchase a carbon monoxide detector and place it in your home close to gas appliances. It is best to place the detector level on a wall instead of on the ceiling. Since the gas is undetectable to humans, it will have already caused harm if you wait until it reaches the ceiling.

Do a routine check of your gas appliances at least twice a year to prevent any carbon monoxide build-up. This check should include making sure the appliances are properly ventilated, all flues are opened and that the pilot light is lit properly.

With clothes dryers, make sure that the dryer vent properly opens to the outside of the home.

Change furnace filters on a regular basis and have your furnace serviced once a year. It is best to do this before the winter season begins or just after it ends.

Be sure to properly use and vent space heaters. Remember that many of these are run by kerosene and without proper ventilation, carbon monoxide can be emitted.

If using a gas fireplace, be sure that the flue is open and working properly. It is best to have your chimney serviced once a year to make sure there are no cracks or blockages that would allow carbon monoxide to remain in the home.

If you don’t already have these tips in the works, we hope that you will consider implementing them as part of a carbon monoxide safety routine in your home! In addition to protecting your family from deadly carbon monoxide gas, preventing this situation from occurring might even help keep your homeowners insurance premiums from increasing.

Photo by Kyle May