Take action to detect dangerous carbon monoxide

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In regard to the new law passed in Washington state about carbon monoxide detectors, I want to personally stress how important carbon monoxide detectors are to protect your family.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible and tasteless gas that can kill before you even know it is present in your home. A carbon monoxide detector is the only way to detect a CO leak. The cost of a detector is a small price to pay for the peace of mind knowing your family is safe.

A CO detector is a small device that can be plugged into any electrical outlet and will alert you to potentially fatal levels of CO. There are many sources that contribute to high levels CO in your home, from your gas furnace to your fireplace or any fuel burning appliances such as gas cook tops and water heaters.

Carbon monoxide emitted from your vehicle or a gas powered generator can also infiltrate your home through an attached garage.

New construction homes tend to be more air tight and allow for less “breathing” giving the Co2 less opportunity to escape through drafts and air leaks. Making sure your home is properly ventilated as well as installing a Co2 detector are two ways to help keep your family safe.

However, that does not mean an older home would not benefit from a carbon monoxide detector. Older appliances and aging venting of furnaces and fireplaces can also increase the risk of CO poisoning. So, even though the exemption says that homes legally occupied before 2009 do not require a carbon monoxide detector, this does not mean you shouldn’t consider installing them in your home. Installing these devices can save your family from a preventable tragedy.

In addition to installing a CO detector make sure to have your heating equipment serviced and inspected regularly to ensure it is operating properly. Also, make sure your gas cooktop, fireplace, and water heater or any appliance that uses gas is vented properly.

Make sure chimney’s and flue’s for wood burning fireplaces or gas inserts are inspected regularly to ensure they are operating properly and never leave your car or fuel burning generator running in the garage.

If you are concerned about carbon monoxide you can contact a heating- and cooling-equipment professional and we would be happy to assist you in finding the right CO detector to meet your needs.

Alex Ewoniuk

Walla Walla

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