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Fire and Carbon Monoxide Risks are Highest in Winter

As winter approaches, the risk for home fires and carbon monoxide poisonings increases. Colder temperatures mean we crank up the heat and break out the space heaters and electric blankets – all of which can be fire hazards if used improperly. Gas-powered heaters and generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide which can become lethal if not used in well ventilated areas.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas created by poorly vented furnaces, gas stoves, fireplaces or gas-powered equipment like portable generators or heaters. If inhaled in large quantities, it can be toxic or even fatal.

What Are the Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, weakness, and confusion. The symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If too much carbon dioxide is breathed in it can become fatal.

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

A carbon monoxide detector is one of the most important devices you can install in your home. It can protect you and your family from accidental poisoning by warning you early at the presence of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide detectors are much like smoke detectors and will sound an alarm when it detects high levels of carbon monoxide.

Never use a generator inside your home, basement, or garage. The exhaust from a generator can quickly reach lethal levels if operated indoors. Only operate a generator for your home no less than 20 feet from a window, door, or vent.

We recommend having your furnace, gas stove or fireplace checked annually to be sure they are in working order and have adequate ventilation.

Preventing Winter House Fires

Heating, holiday decorations and candles all contribute to an increased risk of fire during winter months. December, January and February are the peak months for heating fires.

One of the most important things you can do to protect your home and family from accidental fires is practice extreme caution when using home heating equipment. Fires caused by heating equipment accounted for 16 percent of all reported home fires from 2009 to 2013, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

Properly installing and maintaining smoke alarms could mean the difference between life and death in the case of a house fire. Smoke alarms should be interconnected so that when one sounds they all sound. Test your smoke alarms at least once a month and replace them every ten years.

Bradley Mechanical cares about the safety of you and your family. We want you not only to be comfortable in your own home but also feel safe living there. That is why we offer services to set up smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. We can also troubleshoot issues you may be having with your existing ones. Our specialists are the best in the industry and are dedicated to giving you and your home the best service possible. Give Bradley Mechanical a call today at (804) 748-6728 to schedule a service call.