As a parent, we do our best to make our home as safe as possible for our children to play, grow and live in. We look around our homes, spot any potential injury hazards and then take action to remove or restrict access to them so no harm comes to our child.
But what if there is a danger that you can’t see, smell, or even taste?
DO YOU HAVE A SILENT KILLER IN YOUR HOME?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a hidden danger that many people are unaware of. It is a toxic gas with fumes that are impossible to see, smell or taste, which is why it is often referred to as a silent killer.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can often be mistaken for viral infections or the flu. Symptoms include headaches, nausea, dizziness, burning eyes, confusion, drowsiness, and even loss of consciousness.
In severe cases, carbon monoxide poisoning can result in brain damage and death.
WHERE DOES CARBON MONOXIDE COME FROM?
Any appliances that use gas, oil, kerosene, wood, coal, or charcoal can produce carbon monoxide.
The most common fuel burning appliances that can produce carbon monoxide include:
Do you know when your heater or gas hot water service was last checked by a professional?
If you don’t know, then chances are it was too long ago.
Whether you own your own home or you are renting, it is recommended that all gas and fuel-burning appliances are serviced every 1-2 years by a qualified gasfitter.
Visit the Energy Safe Victoria website for more information about how to find a gasfitter, as well as the obligations of rental providers under the new rental laws that came into effect on 29 March 2021.
TOP TIPS TO PREVENT CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING IN YOUR HOME
With cool weather setting in and winter fast approaching, many families will be switching on heating appliances that have not been used in a while.
By following these simple tips, you can help to protect you and your family:
Never block ventilation and always make sure there is enough fresh air in the room while operating your gas or fuel burning appliance
Minimise the use of exhaust fans at the same time open flued gas heaters are used. Using exhaust fans in the kitchen or bathroom can create negative pressure and lead to gas heater emissions being sucked back into the house rather than allowing them to be exhausted to the outside air
Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm within your home
Have all gas and fuel-burning appliances serviced every 1-2 years by a qualified gasfitter
Ensure all chimneys and flues are swept and inspected annually
Never bring an outdoor gas or fuel-burning appliance inside your home, tent or caravan
Never leave your car’s engine running idle in an attached garage to your home
For more information on gas and fuel burning appliance safety and carbon monoxide poisoning, please visit www.chaseandtyler.org.au
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