A Guide to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Sources of Poisonous Carbon Monoxide: Fireplace Flames
Your fireplace is often the heart of your living space, offering a cozy spot to relax, spend time together, and enjoy the warmth and beauty of flames. But as a potential source of poisonous carbon monoxide, a fireplace must be made safe by ensuring proper installation and careful maintenance.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless gas that can cause serious illness when inhaled; at excessive levels, it can be fatal. Homeowners must be aware that every fireplace, whether wood burning or gas fueled, generates CO, and every precaution must be taken to protect loved ones against its potential hazards.
How does a fireplace produce carbon monoxide?
Installation and Venting
Ventless fireplaces are not advisable due to the high risk of carbon monoxide poisoning associated with them. Although designed for use in homes, ventless fireplaces do not have adequate measures to reduce or redirect the CO that they produce.
With wood burning fireplaces that require operational doors, proper installation of the flue or chimney liner is the most important factor. This pathway allows the dangerous CO emissions from your fireplace to rise and be eliminated, enhancing the quality of the air in the house. A well designed and professionally installed chimney provides the necessary airflow, creating efficient combustion.
Proper Use of a Fireplace
Regular maintenance is essential in order to rid the chimney from dangerous build-up. Accumulation of creosote residue can reduce the level of combustion. Proper cleaning and thorough inspection of your fireplace and chimney should be an annual occurrence; however, in the case of substantial use, more frequent cleanings are required.
on Fireplace Operation
As a source of carbon monoxide, a fireplace should be recognized as a potential hazard. Safety must be practiced. Enjoy the coziness and warmth of your hearth, and cherish peace of mind, knowing that your loved ones are safe.