A Guide to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Sources of Poisonous Carbon Monoxide: Stove Use
Often preferred by professional chefs and enthusiastic cooks, gas stoves are installed in kitchens across the country. Although these appliances are known to deliver accurate cooking temperatures and do not heat up the kitchen to unbearable levels while in operation, they do present the potential risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. In order to be safe from the dangers of CO inhalation, gas and wood stove installation, operation, and maintenance must be done properly.
Wood stoves present the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning in much the same way that fireplaces do. Maximum combustion levels in the stove must be ensured in order to produce the least amount of CO.
How does a
stove produce carbon monoxide?
Experts say that the typical levels of CO around well maintained gas ranges average around 5 - 15 ppm. However, the level increases when the oven door is opened. In comparison, the levels of CO in kitchens without gas appliances average 0.5 – 5 ppm, according to the EPA. In conclusion, the danger of CO poisoning is higher in homes that function with gas appliances.
Wood stoves also produce carbon monoxide naturally during combustion, emitting dangerous levels if the combustion is incomplete. A blocked flue or any other condition that lessens the airflow leaves your family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Installation, Operation and Maintenance
To avoid the risk of being poisoned by carbon monoxide, stove operation, within all the safety measures, is very important. You should not use your gas stove or range to heat your home under any circumstance. If the stove is defective, be sure to have repairs done immediately in order to minimize the risk of CO poisoning. Studies show that well-functioning stoves present a lower level of risk than those in need of repair.
With a wood stove, always use seasoned dry firewood, and do not overload the chamber with burning materials. Have your chimney and stove serviced annually to keep the flue, dampers and all other components working well and free from creosote build up, which is a natural residue caused by flames, and needs to be removed regularly in order to keep your home safe and your wood stove efficient.
Tips on Stove Operation
Ignore a problem with the stove