Saturday, October 6

Cold Temperatures Mean Higher Risks of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

It feels like fall these days. Which means its is the furnace that's kicking in, rather that the air conditioning unit. It is the end of summer for adults and a sign that snow is on it's way. Kids anticipate this time while parents are scrambling to cook and freeze garden crops, rake leaves, blow sprinklers out and everything else. But don't forget a few other chores that need to be looked after, including maintaining your furnace in top shape. I found out a few scary facts when researching this article earlier this week.

Colder Weather Highlights Need For Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Awareness Warns SecurTek 

As colder weather sets in this fall, tens of millions of furnaces are being called back into service across North America. October is a busy month fo SecurTek monitoring station attendants, who always assign a high priority status to carbon monoxide alarms.

Station attendants know lives may depend on rapid intervention by emergency responders, according to SecurTek’s Director of Stations Wendy Zaporosky:

"When night falls, especially, our teams know a lot of people depend on us to keep watch over them in their homes. When carbon monoxide alarms are triggered in the middle of the night, our monitoring station attendants know rapid intervention makes a difference."

In the United States, households can expect to average one home fire every 15 years, or five fires in an average lifetime. According to the
National Fire Protection Association, one home fire is reported every 85 seconds in the US. In a 2007 report published by the Council of Canadian Fire Marshalls and Fire Commissioners, it was estimated that 73 per cent of all fire deaths in Canada resulted from home fires. Risks of fire casualties in cold-climate regions are particularly heightened when heating systems are reactivated in the fall.

Ask yourself these questions: when was your furnace serviced last? have you changed the filter lately? A dirty filter might result in the heat exchanger becoming hotter, causing cracks through which carbon monoxide could escape to critical area in your home, while you sleep.

"Fire response organizations everywhere recommend the use of carbon monoxide detectors bearing the certifications in effect in their jurisdiction," notes Vito Valentini of
Guardian Security Solutions in Calgary. His company installs wired models equipped with battery backups, an essential component of residential security systems. "They will emit an alarm signal when the level of carbon monoxide is high enough to pose a major health risk and poison human beings."

Think of them as a key line of defense in the preservation of safe conditions for life in your home. When coupled with working smoke detectors on every floor of your home, integrated monitored systems ensure that if the alarm goes off, someone notifies the fire department and makes sure responders get to your home -- both when you’re not there, and when you are there but unable to call for help yourself.

On November 4, when you set clocks back one-hour around your house, why not use the opportunity to check or replace batteries on all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. You will be set and safe for winter.
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