Fall isn’t just a time for raking leaves, drinking cider and picking pumpkins —
it’s also a great time of year to replace your fire alarm batteries, and if you haven’t already done so, to make an investment in a carbon monoxide detector.
Mother Nature is sympathetic enough to winter’s plight to give us those picture-perfect Fall days before pushing us inside to stay warm behind closed doors and windows. Get out and enjoy them but when you go inside make sure your house is ready to be the safe haven it should be.
Closed doors and windows are great at keeping cold air out but they also do a great job of keeping potential problems in — and one of those problems is carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide is double-trouble because it’s an invisible threat. It’s a colorless, odorless gas produced by any fuel-burning appliance or fixture — such as a furnace, water heater or fireplace.
The bad news is carbon monoxide can build up in the home from malfunctions or improper venting in these devices and you won’t know it until it’s too late.
We’ve all done such a great job at sealing up our homes for energy efficiency, reducing the exchange of inside and outside air, that carbon monoxide is a greater threat than ever.
The gas is dangerous because it replaces the oxygen in the air and, and when inhaled, creates a toxic compound in your body. In high enough concentrations that toxin can result in death.
That’s why the City Fire and Health Departments use the Fall as a time of year to advocate checking your fire and carbon monoxide detectors.
Within the last month, the Health Department noted a couple of cases of carbon monoxide alarms in Kent that woke the tenants in the middle of the night with concentrations of carbon monoxide high enough to be dangerous. Those close calls were avoided thanks to the detectors.
For more on carbon monoxide, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Carbon Monoxide Poisoning information.