Carbon Monoxide, an odorless deadly gas, can cause illness, permanent health damage, and death. It is formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels such as gas, coal, wood, and oil. Carbon monoxide is absorbed via the lungs into the bloodstream, where it replaces oxygen.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning First Aid
Persons who are affected by inhalation of carbon monoxide contaminated air must be seen by a physician as soon as possible.
Until the affected person is receiving care from a qualified medical practitioner the following treatment should be administered:
Move the patient to fresh air and loosen clothing
Open all windows
If breathing stopped: Begin CPR at once
Avoid unnecessary exertion
Call 911 or Go to emergency room
Burning Fuels Safely:
Use fire-resistant materials on walls around wood stores.
Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote residue which sticks to the inner walls of the chimney. Creosote is a fire hazard and can cause a chimney fire.
Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove
When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace on an adequate supporting grate
Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
Soak hot ashes in water and place them in a metal container outside your house.
Have a Carbon Monoxide alarm in your home.
Proper ventilation is the key.
Always use the right fuel.
Never leave an open fire unattended without a fireguard.
Always use a securely fitted fireguard when children are in the house.
Have your chimney cleaned once a year by a certified chimney sweeper.
If your appliance starts burning slowly, goes out frequently or if you smell or suspect fumes you should:
Open doors and windows.
Carefully put out the fire, or allow it to burn itself out.
Do not stay in the room any longer than necessary.
Do not attempt to relight the appliance until a professional has checked it.
NOTE: Overloading the fireplace with wood in an attempt to get a longer burn time contributes to creosote buildup.