Protect your family from Carbon Monoxide poisoning
You can’t see it, smell it or taste it, but this invisible gas can be deadly. Protecting your family from carbon monoxide poisoning is a crucial aspect of owning or renting a home. Here’s everything you need to know to keep your family safe!
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon Monoxide is an invisible, odorless and toxic gas that can be produced by fuel-burning devices, such as a stove, car and, you guessed it, water heaters. Known as “the silent killer,” carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for approximately 400 deaths and 20,000 emergency room visits each year in the United States.
This deadly gas cannot be found by humans without the help of a detector so it’s important to know the symptoms should you become ill. These can include a dull headache, weakness, nausea or vomiting, confusion, and loss of consciousness.
Carbon monoxide and your water heater
When gas is burned to heat your water, it creates the carbon monoxide that is normally vented out of your home, but a problem with the vent can cause it to release into your home instead.
What can you do?
How can you protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning? There are several things you can do to prevent a problem:
- Every home with a gas appliance should have a carbon monoxide detector
- Make sure there are no obstructions in the vent (such as a bird’s nest)
- Hire a licensed plumber to check out your water heater regularly to make sure it’s venting correctly
Protect with a tune-up!
Regular water heater maintenance, (every 6-12 months depending on manufacturer), can prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from happening in the first place! A tune-up from your local water heater expert will ensure all parts are working correctly. This tune-up will include:
- Flushing the water heater tank as well as checking:
- Whether the water heater is leaking carbon monoxide or other dangerous gases
- The condition of the tank and anode rod
- How the water heater T&P valve is functioning