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One Simple Step to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Intrusion
Date:  9/12/2006
ArticleType:  Press Release

PLAINFIELD, IN – September 12, 2006 Increased home-heating costs have driven thousands of homeowners to purchase more efficient heating appliances within the past year. This heating season, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) reminds homeowners that responsible operation of new and existing appliances calls for annual maintenance to prevent both carbon monoxide from entering the home and the potential for chimney fires.

However, when high-efficiency gas and oil boilers or furnaces and woodstoves are installed to vent into existing chimneys, they often do not provide the level of efficiency expected by the homeowner or the manufacturer. It is only when the furnace, fireplace or insert and chimney are properly designed, installed and regularly maintained as complimentary components of a complete heating system that the best possible performance is assured.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that 69 percent of carbon monoxide poisoning deaths were related to home heating systems and notes that proper installation, operation and maintenance of fuel-burning appliances (regardless of fuel type) is the most important factor in reducing the risk of CO poisoning.

During an annual chimney inspection, certified chimney sweeps identify improper installations, and verify that the chimney structure is free of obstructions and combustible deposits. Cracked and improperly aligned flue tiles can allow toxic gases, like carbon monoxide, to enter the living space. CSIA recommends that annual chimney inspections be performed by individuals holding the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep credential, as they have passed the only nationally recognized exam to prepare them to expertly diagnose and resolve chimney and venting problems serving multiple appliances.

In addition to having your chimney inspected annually, experts also recommend installing carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home and in all sleeping areas. Place alarms in hallways or other large areas of the home where they can measure overall general atmosphere.

For further information on carbon monoxide poisoning prevention, chimney inspections and to locate a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, homeowners are encouraged to visit www.csia.org or call (800) 536-0118.

The CSIA, established in 1983, is a non-profit, educational institution, dedicated to educating the public about the prevention of chimney and venting safety hazards. The CSIA sponsors National Chimney Safety Week, which runs this year from October 1-7, 2006.

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