Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – Is your heater safe?

Many people are unaware that carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless, toxic gas that can spill from faulty gas heaters and cause chronic illness or, in some cases, death.

Carbon monoxide is a gas produced by common household appliances. Any appliances that use gas, oil, kerosene, or wood can produce carbon monoxide. When not properly ventilated, carbon monoxide emitted by these appliances can build up.

Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning such as headaches, nausea, and fatigue, are often mistaken for the flu because the deadly gas goes undetected in a home. Prolonged exposure can lead to increased heart rate, confusion, brain damage, unconsciousness and even death. If you experience symptoms, open doors and windows, get fresh air immediately, call 000 or seek advice from your doctor or nearest hospital immediately.

This year Energy Safe Victoria joined forces with The Chase and Tyler Foundation to help spread this vital public health and safety message. Founded by Vanessa Robinson, the Shepparton mother who lost her two young sons to CO poisoning caused by a faulty gas wall heater in May 2010, the Foundation was officially launched at the Melbourne Museum in May. The Foundation website provides quality public safety information www.chaseandtyler.org.au

Origin Energy customers may have noticed a flyer with May 2013 bills to raise awareness of carbon monoxide and the need for carbon monoxide testing in gas appliances.

Danger signs to look out for around gas and other fuel-burning appliances include:

  • Sooting, yellow or brown staining on or around your appliance, walls, ceiling or below the appliance.
  • Excessive condensation in the room where the appliance is installed
  • Lazy yellow or orange coloured gas flame, rather than a sharp blue one
  • Pilot lights that frequently blow out
  • Peeling paint above appliance
  • Sooting flecks on the ground and underneath appliance

Ways you can protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • have your gas appliances fitted by a licensed gasfitter.
  • never use fuel-burning appliances in enclosed and un-vented spaces
  • never bring an outdoor gas appliance inside your home.
  • never leave your car’s engine running idle in an enclosed space, like the garage.
  • service all gas appliances regularly minimum requirement, as per the manufacturers recommendation or at least every two years as recommended by Energy Safe Victoria;
  • have a high standard audible carbon monoxide alarm fitted outside sleeping areas and living areas.

The team at Surrey Air are trained to understand how to properly test for CO spillage. Accurate carbon monoxide testing requires specialist equipment and knowledge to prevent  false readings.

Take advantage of our Multiple Appliance Service Offer and book a carbon monoxide testing for your home today.

(Excerpts from the ESV Newsletter Issue 32, July 2013 and http://www.chaseandtyler.org.au)


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