People who use gas heaters may not realise that they can be lethal if they are faulty or not maintained properly as they can leak carbon monoxide. Because carbon monoxide can’t be seen and has no smell it can cause death or make people extremely unwell. Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen in any home that has gas connected so it’s critical to have appliances and pipes checked by a professional at least every two years.
Smoke alarms will not give you warning of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Have a professional check your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances every year.
- Install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home and check the battery twice a year. If your CO detector makes an alarm vacate the premises immediately and go to the hospital if you have symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning i.e. dizzy, nausea or light-headed.
- Have adequate ventilation on open fires.
- Don’t run an engine in a garage, and never with the doors and windows closed.
- Use a gas oven for heating.
- Don’t use camp stoves or gasoline or charcoal-burning devices inside your home.