Chim­ney fires and car­bon monox­ide poi­son­ing

The Telegram (St. John’s) - Home Buyers' Guide - - METRO REGION -

In the face of record-set­ting home heat­ing costs, ef­fi­ciency is at the fore­front right now. As many home­own­ers ad­dress their fi­nan­cial con­cerns by turn­ing to solid fuel ap­pli­ances, like wood or pel­let stoves, the Chim­ney Safety In­sti­tute of Amer­ica ends the re­minder that the new heat­ing pat­terns, in­clud­ing an in­crease in solid-fuel use, have the po­ten­tial to in­crease the risk of car­bon monox­ide poi­son­ing and chim­ney fires.

Ac­cord­ing to the most re­cent sta­tis­tics from the Na­tional Fire Pro­tec­tion As­so­ci­a­tion in the U.S., chim­neys and chim­ney con­nec­tors ac­counted for the largest share (36 per­cent) of home heat­ing fire in­ci­dents in 2005, with “fail­ure to clean” ac­count­ing for two-thirds of those fires.

“Re­spon­si­ble op­er­a­tion of heat­ing ap­pli­ances calls for an­nual main­te­nance,” states Ash­ley Eldridge, di­rec­tor of education of the Amer­i­can chim­ney safety or­ga­ni­za­tion. “Sur­pris­ingly few home­own­ers re­al­ize that the chim­neys vent­ing their fur­naces, wa­ter heaters and stoves, as well as the fire­place in the liv­ing room, need to be in­spected by a qual­i­fied pro­fes­sional each year.”

The most re­cent es­ti­mates avail­able (for the U.S. alone) show an av­er­age of 25,700 res­i­den­tial struc­tural fires re­lated to fire­places, chim­neys and chim­ney con­nec­tors re­sult­ing in 30 deaths and $627 mil­lion in prop­erty losses an­nu­ally.

In ad­di­tion to en­cour­ag­ing that chim­neys and vents be in­spected on an an­nual ba­sis and main­tained as needed to re­duce the risk of fires and car­bon monox­ide poi­son­ing due to cre­osote buildup or ob­struc­tions in the chim­ney, the or­ga­ni­za­tion also rec­om­mends the fol­low­ing win­ter heat­ing safety tips:

* En­sure that new ap­pli­ances are in­stalled with the cor­rect vent­ing com­po­nents as de­fined by the man­u­fac­turer.

* In­stall a car­bon monox­ide de­tec­tor on ev­ery level of the home.

* Check smoke alarms. Re­place bat­ter­ies in both smoke de­tec­tors and car­bon monox­ide de­tec­tors when clocks are re­set for Day­light Sav­ings Time.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.