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More Dangerous Than Poppies

The wicked witch attempted to use poppies to send Dorothy into a permanent sleep. Carbon monoxide (CO) can do that for real.

CO is created when any kind of fuel is burned, but it’s vented safely to the outside. That’s why it’s important to have all fuel-burning devices serviced regularly by a professional. This will ensure that your equipment is operating properly.

poppiesBecause CO is a toxic, invisible and odorless gas, you should already have CO detectors installed around your home, especially near all bedrooms.

Remember to test the detectors about once a month.

A faulty burner or furnace can cause a CO leak.

Other causes of CO leaks can include:

  • unvented appliances running for long periods of time.
  • back drafts caused by pressure imbalances near the heating system.
  • a vehicle left idling in an attached garage.
  • a blocked flue.
  • a gasoline-powered generator left running in a basement or attached garage.

CO poisoning symptoms include fatigue, dizziness and nausea. If you suspect a CO leak, get fresh air right away by opening doors and windows and leave the house before calling for help.

Oilheat’s CO safety net

As someone who uses oilheat, you can feel better knowing that if your oil burner malfunctions (most often due to a lack of maintenance), the safety devices in the unit will typically shut the furnace or boiler off.

Plus, you will usually see smoke coming out of your boiler or furnace as a warning sign. In contrast, a gas heating system usually does not produce a visual
warning sign if there is a carbon monoxide problem.