Dominion Offers Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips for Customers

October 19, 2009

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ — Dominion reminds customers to have their furnaces inspected annually to ensure safety and maximum efficiency. An inspection by a qualified, reputable heating contractor can help to ensure that the natural gas furnace will provide comfortable, reliable natural gas heat when customers need it most while preventing potential problems such as carbon monoxide.

A carbon monoxide (CO) detector installed near sleeping areas can offer an extra measure of safety but they should not be used as a substitute for an annual furnace inspection.

Carbon monoxide is produced every time a fuel-burning appliance is activated. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning in the home, customers should consider the following suggestions:

  • Have your heating system checked each fall before cold weather arrives to make sure it is operating efficiently and all the vents, pipes, flues, and chimneys are unclogged, tight and do not have any leaks. Keep fresh air circulating in your home; open a vent or a window to eliminate toxic fumes. Fuel-burning appliances should be vented directly outdoors.
  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends installing at least one carbon monoxide detector with an audible warning alarm. Choose an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed detector that sounds an audible warning. Look for the UL logo on the package.
  • Install your CO detector at least 15 feet away from a furnace or gas appliance. Avoid installing detectors close to a fan, swamp cooler, or other fresh or turbulent air sources as this may deter the unit from taking accurate readings. If you only have one detector, it should be installed in the hallway near the sleeping area so it will awaken you if the alarm goes off while you are sleeping. Additional alarms on each level of your house can provide extra protection.
  • Maintain CO detectors on a regular basis. Keep it clean and free of grease, soot, and debris. Clean it with a slightly damp cloth (no chemical cleansers) or vacuum it. It’s best to test your alarms regularly as well.
  • Don’t close your fireplace damper until you are certain that the fire is out. If smoke enters the room, your chimney may be causing a reverse flow. Open a window. Have all chimneys cleaned, inspected and serviced annually.
  • Never run your car engine in an enclosed area. Open the garage door before starting the car. Replace smoke alarms every ten years. They accumulate significant levels of dust, dirt, and debris. Since a smoke alarm works 24 hours a day, seven days a week, its life span is about ten years.
  • Make sure the burner flames on your furnace burn blue, not yellow-orange, and never use your gas or oven for heating.
  • Never use grills or hibachis inside your home.
  • Never operate gas-burning appliances in a closed room.
  • Do not operate any other gasoline-, propane- or similarly fueled equipment in a garage or other indoor or outdoor location where exhaust fumes can enter the living area. This includes electrical generators.

Dominion Peoples is a subsidiary of Dominion, one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of more than 27,500 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation’s largest natural gas storage systems and serves retail energy customers in 12 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company’s Web site at www.dom.com .

       Media:  Elmore Lockley at (412) 232-6767

SOURCE Dominion Peoples

Source: newswire

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