Safety First! Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Air Flow Regularly

At Liberty Gas, safety is always priority number one! With that in mind, today we will review some common facts about carbon monoxide (CO), which is the leading cause of accidental poisoning in the United States.

Oil, propane, and natural gas heating systems, along with gas appliances and fireplaces, all release carbon monoxide as they burn. If you have any of those systems in your home, then they should be inspected annually by a trained expert such as the team here at Liberty. Each can be a health and fire hazard if not maintained properly.

An inspection should ensure proper ventilation and combustion along with a check of the chimney flue for anything in disrepair, such as cracks, and obstructions to air flow.

It is important to remember that all gas flames in kitchen ranges and heating systems should be blue in color. A discolored yellowish flame, unusual sounds from the flame area, or an abnormally high or large flame can be a sign of inadequate combustion and indicate an unsafe level of carbon monoxide.

Liberty Gas recommends proper ventilation, regular testing of equipment and keeping up with the latest technology to keep your family safe, especially during the heating season.

New York is one of the 27 states that require carbon monoxide detectors in private dwellings via state statute.

Amanda’s Law, which went into effect in 2010, required all homes in New York State to have CO detectors.

The law stipulates the following according to amandaslaw.org:

  • CO alarms must be installed in all new and existing one and two-family dwellings, multifamily dwellings and rentals having any fuel-burning appliance, system or attached garage.
  • The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends CO alarms be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
  • To comply with the law, CO alarms must be listed to comply with UL (Underwriters Laboratories) 2034 or CSA (Canadian Standards Association) 6.19 and installed in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
  • CO alarms should be replaced every five (5) years in order to benefit from the latest technology and upgrades.  Also the carbon monoxide sensors inside the alarm unit can wear out over time.

The recommended ratio of alarms for a home is calculated as such – # of Levels multiplied by # of Bedrooms = # of Alarms you should have. For example, a two-story home with a basement and three bedrooms should have six (6) CO alarms.