As winter settles in, NIPSCO reminds customers of the importance of maintaining a safe home heating system. Furnace inspections and carbon monoxide detectors help keep homes safe and warm.
An annual inspection is essential for every home’s furnace to ensure that it is working efficiently and to help protect residents from safety concerns, such as carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, non-corrosive gas and a by-product of burning fuels such as coal, wood, charcoal, natural gas and fuel oil. It can be emitted by furnaces, generators, space heaters, stoves, fireplaces, water heaters and automobile exhaust. Carbon monoxide can be poisonous if allowed to build up in enclosed spaces.
The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are flu-like, including headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. At high levels, it can cause loss of consciousness and death. If you think you are suffering from CO poisoning, you should get fresh air immediately and call 911.
Take action to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
·Install a battery-operated CO detector in your home near the bedrooms, making sure it’s clear of furniture or draperies. Test the battery regularly.
·Do not use ovens, gas ranges or grills to heat your home.
·Never use a generator inside your home, basement, garage or other enclosed or partially enclosed area.
·Never leave a car or lawn mower engine running in a shed, garage or any enclosed space.