Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2020April 27, 2020 9:16 am
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As we enter the annual Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week (27 April – 3 May 2020), the team here at Newman Plumbing thought that we would give a reminder as to what this event is and why it is so important.
Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week is an annual national event run by the Chase and Tyler Foundation raising awareness of fuel-burning appliance safety across Australia reducing illness, injury and death by accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon Monoxide is a toxic gas with fumes that are impossible to see, taste or smell. It is often referred to as the “silent killer” as its effects can be deadly, and you can die from inhalation before you are even aware of it.
Who is at risk from Carbon Monoxide?
All people and animals are at risk for CO poisoning, however there are certain groups of people are much susceptible to its effects, such as:
- pregnant women and unborn babies
- the elderly; and
- people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems
There are many warning signs and symptoms that you might contract if you have been affected by carbon monoxide, some of which include:
For a complete list of symptoms and how these generally affect people, please refer to the Chase & Tyler Danger Signs & Symptoms web page.
Which domestic appliances can produce Carbon Monoxide?
You might not be aware, but there are many common fuel burning appliances that can produce carbon monoxide around the home. These include any appliances that use gas, oil, kerosene, or wood can produce carbon monoxide and include:
- Gas space heaters
- Gas wall furnaces
- Gas central heating systems
- Gas decorative log fires
- Gas hot water heater service
- Gas or wood stoves and ovens
- Wood heaters
- Gas refrigerators
- Charcoal/Wood grills (Kettle BBQ, Heat Beads® BBQ Briquettes)
- LP Gas BBQ
- Portable Camping Gas Stove (Butane/LPG)
- Gas patio heaters
- Gas or petrol driven generators
- Motor vehicles
Operating these appliances in poorly vented or enclosed spaces or where vents, chimney and flue-pipes are blocked can increase the chances of carbon monoxide being produced.
How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
The good news is that you can protect your family and loved ones by implementing carbon monoxide preventative measures. The Chase & Tyler website includes a very intuitive list of preventative measures, such as:
- Service all gas and fuel-burning appliances every 1 – 2 years by a qualified gasfitter / plumber. Ensure they are qualified for Type A Appliance Servicing work (check the back of their license) and have completed the carbon monoxide testing course.
- Ensure all chimneys and flues are swept and inspected annually.
- Never DIY any ventilation appliances, such as extraction fans within your property that contain gas or fuel burning appliances. These ventilation appliances should be installed by a licensed builder, gasfitter, or electrician, to reduce the likelihood of poor ventilation or negative pressure (negative pressure can cause combustion products to be drawn back down the flue and spill into the home).
- Always make sure there is enough fresh air in the room while operating your gas and fuel burning appliance.
- Have a qualified gasfitter install a high standard audible carbon monoxide alarm outside sleeping and living areas.
- 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 enclosed space, i.e. an attached garage to your home.