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Home Safety Concerns - Carbon Monoxide

Q - Are there any safety issues I should be concerned about when purchasing a home?

A - There certainly are but they are not often addressed.  One major one is mould.  I recently discussed this in an earlier blog.  Another one is Carbon Monoxide which is often overlooked when a buyer is assessing a home.

There are numerous deaths annually and CO is the leading cause of death by poisoning.  It's a silent killer in the sense that you cannot see or smell carbon monoxide (CO).  It is produced when wood, gas, kerosene or charcoal is burned.  That is why it is important to check the quality and efficiency of the combustion process of the appliances.  If it is not working properly and efficiently, dangerous levels of CO can accumulate.

 When purchasing a home, have the heating equipment inspected.  Backdrafting in furnaces, fireplaces and other equipment is an issue.   Make sure flues and chimneys are not blocked, that metal flues are not rusted and ensure that heat exchangers are not cracked or rusted.  Soot can be a sign of combustion leakage.  Always open a window when using exhaust fans to provide replacement air.

A home inspector doesn't usually inspect these items in such detail so it would be worthwhile to hire a furnace expert to inspect the home you intend to purchase.

Be sure, to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home for that extra security.  In fact, purchase one of the combination units - smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector.  There are many on the market but be sure to get a good one.  Some of the cheaper models are inadequate so do your research.

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