Southern Trust Home Services offers tips to prevent exposure to carbon monoxide
The Roanoke-based home services company urges the importance of gas safety during the month of January
ROANOKE, Va. – Jan. 12, 2023 – With winter in full swing, Southern Trust Home Services, a leading electrical, HVAC and plumbing company serving southwest Virginia, warns homeowners of the real threat of carbon monoxide poisoning and offers tips to prevent exposure to the harmful gas.
“January is the worst month for exposure to carbon monoxide because that’s when it gets really cold and people start using their heating systems more,” said Ted Puzio, owner of Southern Trust Home Services. “Add to that storm-related power outages that cause homeowners to look for alternative heating sources, and you have a recipe for potential disaster. Carbon monoxide (CO) is invisible and odorless so it can debilitate you before you know you’ve been exposed.”
CO is a byproduct of burning gasoline, propane, wood, charcoal and other fuel. Puzio said that many heating methods that aren’t designed for indoor use or faulty gas furnaces and fireplaces are the usual culprits of CO emissions.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than 400 people die of CO poisoning each year and an additional 15,000 people are treated annually for exposure.
He provided the following tips to prevent or limit exposure to carbon monoxide:
- Don’t operate a gas-powered generator indoors or near an open window. Portable generators need to be used outside and far away from the house. Do not operate a portable generator inside the home. Even an open window does not provide enough ventilation.
- Don’t use stoves and other appliances as a heating source. When the heat goes out, it is tempting to use gas ovens or propane camp stoves as temporary heaters, but this is dangerous. If the heat is completely out and there is no safe, alternative heat, call local emergency services for help.
- Put CO alarms on every level of the home. CO detectors can be purchased from any hardware or home improvement store and are easily installed. These alarms need to be tested frequently to ensure the batteries are in good working order.
- Have the heating system inspected. Furnaces, chimneys and flues should be inspected at least once a year. A professional can detect problems or potential problems with CO emissions during a routine heating system checkup.
- Don’t warm up vehicles in closed spaces. Keep the garage door open or move the automobile outside while it warms. Even if it is warming up with the garage door open, it is a good idea to limit the time it idles as the gas can build up quickly.
“If you or a family member feels light-headed, dizzy, short of breath or nauseated and you suspect you’ve been exposed to carbon monoxide, call 911 immediately,” Puzio said. “Take the victim to get fresh air while waiting for emergency service personnel. Exposure to carbon monoxide is not something to take lightly.”
For more information on winter prep or to inquire about services, please contact Southern Trust Home Services at (540) 343-4348 or visit www.southerntrusthomeservices.com.
Source: WSLS News 10
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