Carbon Monoxide (CO) is produced when carbon-based materials are burned in a limited supply of air or oxygen and becomes an incomplete combustion. Incorrectly installed and malfunctioning combustion-based heating appliances such as gas heaters and wood fireplaces are also the cause of CO poisoning in houses across Australia. We have compiled a carbon monoxide safety guide that should become part of your winter checklist.
Carbon monoxide safety guide
- Have your gas heaters and other heating appliances been serviced by a qualified and licensed technician yearly.
- Install a CO detector system close to the main living and sleeping areas. Ensuring they aren’t positioned too close to gas heaters or ovens and fire places as they may set off the alarm with harmless levels of correctly burned gas.
- Test the alarms every month, you should replace the batteries twice a year; similar pattern to daylight savings. Get into a routine of changing your clocks and changing the batteries to your alarms.
- Understand the symptoms and seek medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning.
- Erratic behaviour
- General lethargy
- Try not to leave your vehicle on idle inside a garage.
- Do not heat your home with a gas oven or any other appliance and only use a specified space heater.
- Use a generator with precaution – they shouldn’t be used in homes, garages or other enclosed spaces and should be kept 7 meters away from any window, door or vent that leads into your living space.
What to do in an emergency
- Open windows and doors to air out your home
- Do not ignite any flames or sparks
- Switch off lights, appliances and fans
- Switch off the gas bottle valve by turning it clockwise
- Get yourself and your family outside into the fresh air
- Ring Australian Gas Networks 1800 GAS LEAK (1800 427 532) if you smell or suspect a gas leak near the meter itself.
Call Plumfast on 1300 758 632 if you suspect the leak is near the hot water system, space heater or gas cooker for reliable, licensed advice and services.