Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious condition that is caused by exposure to carbon monoxide. This highly toxic gas is capable of causing numerous and severe health ailments even with short-term exposure to it. What truly makes it dangerous is the fact that carbon monoxide is odorless and does not give itself away as being present in the air. This means that you could be immersed in a highly toxic environment for hours or even days before you know that something is wrong. Gas ovens are primary culprits in household carbon monoxide sicknesses and deaths, due to the process of combustion that they use.

The gas flame that ignites heat inside of the oven is responsible for this. Whenever the oven fails to properly burn up the fuel used during ignition, this is when carbon monoxide can get into the air. The effects of this gas essentially suffocate the individual exposed to them, and can cause death in addition to a host of illnesses.

So how can you prevent this odorless substance from wreaking havoc in your household? This is a question that millions of Americans are asking themselves. Over half of all gas-powered ovens emit more than the 9 parts per million amount of carbon monoxide that is considered harmless, and many families do not know this until the worst has happened. But with a bit of due diligence, you can prevent long-term harm by increasing your awareness at home and practicing certain safety techniques.

Buy a CO Detector
First and foremost, we highly recommend that every home have at least one carbon monoxide detector. A battery-powered detector is ideal, as it can be placed anywhere in your home. Make sure to keep it where it can be easily reached, as well as easily heard in the event that it alarms when everyone is asleep. A digital display to show CO levels in the air is also useful, especially when you have to call in the professionals to rectify the problem.

If you already have one, it is never a bad idea to purchase a backup-just in case.

Don’t Heat your House with the Oven
Our next bit of advice relates to a common but dangerous practice that we’ve all probably done at least once ourselves during the bitter winter months: leaving the oven door open so that its heat can circulate through the house. This might be an effective method of staying warm, but it can cause the buildup of toxic carbon monoxide.

Has your Oven Been Through Testing?
When you buy a gas oven, you should make sure that it has been tested by a national testing facility for safety. Your owner’s manual should contain the information that you need.

Ventilation is Important
You should also ensure that your kitchen has proper ventilation so that any carbon monoxide in the air can reach the outside of your home. The vent should be aimed slightly upward and in good working order. Never try to “repair” damaged vents with tape or other temporary solutions.

Since 1983, CS Appliance Service has been serving the North Shore and Greater Boston area by repairing their ovens, dishwashers, dryers, refrigerators and more. If you are worried that your oven  isn’t running as well as it should be or is contaminating your home with carbon monoxide, call CS Appliance Service today at 781-953-9600.