Carbon Monoxide: A Silent Cold Weather Killer
Carbon Monoxide detector
CARBON MONOXIDE: A SILENT COLD WEATHER KILLER
You can't see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels it can kill a person in minutes. Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide (or CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, and propane burn incompletely. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning. It is estimate another 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning. All people and animals are at risk for CO poisoning, with some groups including unborn babies, infants, and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems being more susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide.
An excess of CO, leading to CO poisoning, can result from faulty furnaces or heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers, or idling cars left running in garages. Taking some basic, precautionary steps can help eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Protect yourself by reviewing the following tips provided by the United States Fire Administration.
- Have fuel-burning appliances, like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves inspected by a trained professional every year.
- Open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace. Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home.
- Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid CO poisoning. Keep the venting for exhaust clear and unblocked.
- If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle or other fueling engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust of a running vehicle is not blocked with snow, ice, or other materials.
- Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.
- Only use barbecue grills outside, away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings. Some grills can produce CO gas. Never use grills inside the home or the garage, even if the doors are open.
- Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the home.
Celebrate Safely this Holiday Season
When we think of the holidays, we think of spending time with family, friends and the ones we love most. Some of our favorite things to do are setting up our Christmas trees, lighting candles, putting lights on the house or even baking cookies and other delicious treats. What we don’t think about is if these things are not used properly things can go from festive to frightening fast. Here are so holiday tips and tricks.
- Place your Christmas tree at least three feet away from the fireplaces heating ducts and other heating elements real or fake.
- Make sure your string of lights are in good condition. Make sure the lights and electrical cords don’t have a short, frayed wires.
- Always unplug your Christmas tree before bed or leaving the home.
- When baking keeps anything that can catch fire away from burners and the oven. Such as potholders, wooden spoons, paper or plastic bags and kitchen towels.
SERVPRO of Grand Traverse Area wishes you and yours a happy and safe Holiday season.
Hoarding Dangers in Grand Traverse Area
According to The Mayo Clinic, "Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the though of getting rid of the times. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs."
Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. SERVPRO encounters hoarding situations several different ways. Often we are call in for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation. We will communicate with the insurance company regarding their content coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried and stored at our facility so work can be begin in the home.
Anther way we encounter hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situation, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job.
Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but we are here to help make it "Like it never even happened."
Grilling Safety Tips for Grand Traverse
Grilling in Traverse City!
There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months! A backyard barbecue can become dangerous quickly if the proper safety precautions aren't considered. SERVPRO of Grand Traverse Area want you to have an enjoyable and safe summer. Consider the following tips to ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
- The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
- When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
- Never leave your grill unattended.