Days are dark and nights are long during the winter months. This makes it especially difficult to see the effects of soot accumulation on our home’s heating appliances. Soot buildup can be dangerous, however, because it causes inefficient burning, which in turn produces more harmful byproducts like carbon monoxide (CO).
If you’ve recently purchased a new heating appliance, be sure to get it serviced before using it. If you haven’t purchased one yet, consider buying an ENERGY STAR certified appliance. These appliances are required by federal law to have the following features that will help prevent CO emissions:
1) A continuous pilot light 2) An oxygen depletion sensor or an automatic shutoff sensor 3) A sealed combustion chamber 4) An automatic carbon monoxide alarm.
There are additional appliances that can pose CO dangers to you and your family, such as ovens, gas ranges, water heaters, fireplaces or wood stoves. If not properly installed or serviced on a regular basis, they can release CO into your home. Check with your heating contractor for ways to reduce or eliminate the risk to you and your family.
One of the best ways to prevent CO poisoning is by placing a working carbon monoxide alarm in your home. Carbon monoxide alarms are relatively inexpensive, costing less than $50, and they could save lives if installed in your home. If you are unsure where to place carbon monoxide alarms, visit the following EPA website for more information:
also provide helpful tips on how to properly use, maintain and install heating appliances.
So don’t let the winter’s darkness stop you from visiting us! We’ll keep your family safe during the coldest months of the year.
Advantages of smoke detection
Smoke detectors are only one type of safety device that uses ionization sensing. Others include security systems, medical devices, firefighting equipment and devices for measuring hazardous gases in the workplace.
Smoke detectors can detect fires faster than through thermal response alone, because smoke contains ions which conduct electricity and allow the alarm to respond much sooner to a new flame than it could to rapid increases in temperature.
The early warning provided by smoke detection is valuable because people can be alerted to the presence of a fire in its early stages, when it is easier to control. This will reduce the damage caused by the fire and may save lives.
Smoke detectors are relatively cheap at about $2 per unit. In contrast, it has been estimated that each fire or fire-related death will cost society as a whole between $20 and $200 depending on the property loss and whether anyone was injured or killed.
If you’re going to buy only one type of safety device, a smoke detector is the best choice because it can detect a fire in its incipient stage and will provide you with a warning long before a sprinkler system would. In addition, smoke detectors can be interconnected so that when one sounds off while you are cooking, the carbon monoxide alarm won’t also sound off.