Instances of house fires and carbon monoxide poisonings are major risks in late winter and early spring; the latter claimed the lives of three Ohio children, and left another hospitalized.
Three children in Troy, Ohio died and another is in critical condition due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a clear, odorless gas, which can be fatal. According to WDTN News, furnace issues and a clogged flue resulted in the carbon monoxide poisoning.
According to investigators, the furnace in the Troy home was vented though a deteriorating chimney. The debris from the chimney blocked the ventilation, which prevented the carbon monoxide from leaving the home.
The furnace itself was also malfunctioning, leading to an increase in the amount of carbon monoxide that it was producing.
“Furnace maintenance is necessary for proper operation of a gas furnace, which will also help prevent carbon monoxide related issues regarding HVAC,” says Ken Boennighausen, Owner, Comfort Experts Inc.
Furnace filters should be changed regularly and at least looked at once every thirty days to ensure they are not clogged. Clogged filters can lead to overheating and furnace malfunction. Without filters, dirt and dust get distributed throughout a home and the furnace itself could be at risk for developing dangerous mechanical problems.
According to Springfield News, there are laws in Ohio that can help protect homeowners from carbon monoxide poisoning, but there’s almost no way of enforcing them. Ohio law dictates that all new homes must have CO detectors outside of bedrooms. The code went into effect in 2013.
It’s up to homeowners to take the proper precautions and do what they can to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in their homes. Ensuring that the furnace and all ventilation systems are functioning properly and are clear, and installing detectors in certain areas of the home are good places to start.