Carbon Monoxide Inspection

Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that is a product of incomplete burning. Carbon monoxide poisoning accounts for about 1,500 accidental deaths and 10,000 injuries each year in the United States. In the average home, the most common causes of CO buildup are a defective furnace or water heater, blocked or defective flue pipes or chimneys and vehicles left running in the garage.

Free Carbon Monoxide Inspections

The Liberty Fire Department will conduct a free carbon monoxide (CO) inspection of your home or business upon request. Carbon monoxide inspections are usually requested because the owner/occupant has a CO detector that has gone off, they are experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning or they want to ensure that no danger exists.

The fire department will respond at any time to a request for a CO inspection. If the calling party is not experiencing any symptoms, the closest engine company will be dispatched, non-emergency, to check for CO. However, if the caller does have symptoms of CO poisoning, an ambulance will be sent with the engine company, and both units will respond like they would for any other emergency. When requesting a CO check, the dispatcher will provide you with steps that you should take while waiting for fire department personnel to arrive.

The inspection is conducted using a specially designed multi-gas detector. During the inspection any equipment which could produce carbon monoxide will be tested for CO production. The fire department will follow a checklist to make sure that all potential sources of carbon monoxide are inspected.

The most common causes of carbon monoxide buildup are faulty furnaces and water heaters, blocked flues or chimneys, and vehicles running in the garage. At the end of the inspection sources of carbon monoxide leaks will have been identified and corrected (if necessary). If the cause of the CO leak is an unsafe appliance, the appliance will be turned off and the owner will be required to have it repaired before it can be turned on.

After any required repairs are made, the fire department may be requested to do a second inspection to ensure that no further danger exists.

To request a CO inspection, or to receive information on carbon monoxide dangers, contact the Liberty Fire Department at 816.439.4310. If you are having symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning call 911 for immediate assistance.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

Approximately 25% of CO poisonings are misdiagnosed as flu-like symptoms. The symptoms of mild CO poisoning include headache, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. However, unlike flu symptoms, the symptoms of CO poisoning tend to disappear quickly when one leaves the area of the CO buildup.

Extreme exposure to CO can cause drowsiness, confusion, unconsciousness and even death. If you suspect that you have carbon monoxide poisoning seek medical assistance immediately. 

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

To prevent carbon monoxide from getting into your home you should have your furnace, water heater and other gas appliances checked and serviced yearly. You should also make sure not to leave your car running in your garage. Lastly, when you pull your car outside, make sure to close the garage door so that the exhaust is not directed in the garage area.

To ensure your family’s safety, you should install a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home. Carbon monoxide detectors are most effective when installed close to the floor, near outlet level. There are several types of detectors available for home use. However, make sure the one you choose carries the mark of a certification laboratory like Underwriters Laboratory.