On average 170 people die each year of carbon monoxide poisoning. Jim Panzer is one of the lucky ones that dodged that bullet! Jim had returned to his home in Gordon after being gone with his son Jon. He had his furnace turned down to 55º while he was away, and had turned it up to 70º to warm up the house while he took a shower. When he came out of the bathroom his carbon monoxide detector was going off. He immediately opened windows and called Source gas. The problem...an old furnace! Jim was fortunate that he had a carbon monoxide detector installed in his home.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that every home have carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on each level outside each sleeping area. In addition, CPSC urges consumers to have an annual professional inspection of all fuel-burning appliances -- including furnaces, stoves, fireplaces, clothes dryers, water heaters, and space heaters -- to detect deadly carbon monoxide leaks.
Some tips that could save your life: never use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.
Keep gas appliances properly adjusted.
Consider purchasing a vented space heater when replacing an unvented one.
Use proper fuel in kerosene space heaters.
Install and use an exhaust fan vented to outdoors over gas stoves.
Open flues when fireplaces are in use.
Choose properly sized wood stoves that are certified to meet EPA emission standards. Make certain that doors on all wood stoves fit tightly.
Have a trained professional inspect, clean, and tune-up central heating system (furnaces, flues, and chimneys) annually. Repair any leaks promptly.
Do not idle the car inside garage.
Carbon monoxide detectors are not terribly expensive. They are available at discount stores and hardware stores. The average price of one here in Gordon is around $25. A small price to pay for the peace of mind that it will provide. Jim Panzer found that to be true. He’s pretty sure that someone was looking over his shoulder, taking care of him.