Heaters and safety

With our first “cold snap”, we start turning on our heaters and furnaces. This part of the typical north central Florida home, is used briefly during our “winter”. Often, winter is a sputtering of cold days that require heating and warm days that send us back to the air conditioning. Many homes have heating systems that depend on gas or liquid propane, unlike the air conditioner that runs on electricity. Also, for home with fireplaces, whether they burn real wood, natural gas or liquid propane, every homeowner should have carbon monoxide detectors installed. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas produced when fossil fuel is burned. The gas can accumulate in a home and poison the residents in a home. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can appear “flu-like” with headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea and vomiting. In excess, it can be deadly. Prevention is key. Carbon An inexpensive carbon monoxide detectors cost less than $20. For a bit more money, a dual detector for both smoke and carbon monoxide can replace the standard smoke detectors in most homes and apartments. If the alarms sound, alerting you to the presence of carbon monoxide, exit the property. If you are symptomatic, call EMS.

Never use a gas grills indoors. Free-standing, indoor heaters that use propane are all a risk for carbon monoxide gas. If possible, use only electric-powered heaters inside your home.