Keep Your Oil or Propane-Heated Home Safe
How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure
We all want to keep our families safe. That’s why we install security systems, buy fire extinguishers, and sure up that loose stair to the basement. Unfortunately, one of the most harmful things that can lurk in your home is odorless and invisible.
Carbon monoxide (CO) can hurt you slowly at low levels and is fatal at higher levels. While propane and oil-fired boilers and furnaces are exceptionally CO-safe when functioning correctly, every Western Massachusetts homeowner needs to take proper safety precautions.
Here are some answers to common questions about carbon monoxide safety.
How safe is propane and heating oil?
Overall, the propane and heating oil that FSi delivers is incredibly safe. Liquid propane or oil in your tank is completely non-flammable, and propane gas is nontoxic and scented to allow for easy leak detection.
So, there is no need to worry about the fuel we deliver to your home.
Can carbon monoxide leak from my heating equipment?
Furnaces and boilers that burn propane, heating oil or natural gas all produce carbon monoxide. However, if your heating equipment is working properly, there is very little chance of carbon monoxide poisoning from them. These systems have safety devices that shut them off in the event of a malfunction.
When CO-infiltration does occur, it’s often because of one of these issues in your home:
- a blocked flue
- backdrafts caused by pressure imbalances near your heating system
- an idling vehicle in an attached garage
- unvented appliances left running too long
- a gasoline-powered generator in an attached garage or basement
Whether your home is powered by propane, heating oil or natural gas, it’s critical to practice carbon monoxide safety.
What can I do to ensure my home is safe from CO poisoning?
The most important safeguard you can take is installing carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home. Test them regularly and replace their batteries at least once per year. Make sure that everyone in your home knows the symptoms of CO poisoning and how to quickly exit the house if the CO detector chimes.
You can also look for telltale signs that your boiler or furnace is malfunctioning, specifically smoke or soot. These often indicate problems that could lead to a CO leak. You should immediately call for service on your equipment.
It’s worth noting that most heating system malfunctions occur because of skipped annual maintenance. Check out the comprehensive and affordable service plans that FSi offers, and you’ll never miss your routine tune-up again.