Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Carbon monoxide, sewer gas poisoning real threat as cold weather nears

Try the Pocket can be installed anywhere in your house and it's so small you'll never even know its there...until the 85dB alarm and the LED warning light start to go off! And then it's time to vent the room and call a professional to see what the problem is.

With a spell of sub-zero weather marching toward the Aberdeen area this week, it's timely to guard against poisoning from carbon monoxide and sewer gas.

That was the advice Tuesday from Mike Thompson, fire marshal with the Aberdeen Fire Department.

The department typically gets more requests for carbon-monoxide checks during a cold snap, he said.

"So it's likely we'll get more calls this week," he said.

Sub-zero lows are expected Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Furnaces work harder in bitter cold weather, and a poorly maintained furnace can emit carbon monoxide, a potentially deadly gas. Rooftop sewer vents can also freeze up in cold weather. Properly functioning vents allow sewer gas - also potentially deadly - to escape from a building.

Thompson said one common mistake is to place carbon monoxide detectors/ alarms too close to the furnace. The best place to install them is near where people sleep so the alarm wakes them up, he said. For added protection, one can be installed at least 15 feet from the furnace, he said.

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