Home Security Blog.

There are two types of gas fireplace inserts that can be installed in your home, Direct vent and Unvented systems. I will be discussing both systems in this blog. Choosing the wrong system can be dangerous and even become a health problem. This is why it is important to contract with a competent “certfied” specialist to install your system.

An improperly installed system can emit carbon monoxide gasses and other pollutants into your home. These gasses are undectable because they don’t produce any oder. For this reason carbon monoixde poisoning is sometimes called the silent killer.

A direct vent system is the reccomended system to install. The best systems will be sealed from the room so that it draws in air (oxyegen) from outside rather from in your home. This is done with a tempered glass panel to seal the insert from the room. You will still have the enjoyment for the fire glow. It is also vented to the outside of your home so that all gasses, soot, and pollutants ars not discharged into your home. They have a chamber that provides warmeth into your home by drawing cool air in the bottom of the chamber and directing heated air into the room at the top.

Safety Tip: At the beginning of the colder season, have youe venting system checked to be sure there is no blockages. Birds have been known to build nests in the flu.

An unvented system does not require an outside vent. This also means that all the air it uses for the fire comes from inside the room where it is installed. Yes, they are less expensive but they are more hazardous than a direct vented system. In fact, some communities have strict regulations about installing an unvented gas insert into some rooms. Unvented systems are more likely to emit moister into the home that can cause mold build up and even structual damage to the home..

No matter which system you choose it’s important to install the correct size for the area it is to be installed. The National Fireplace Institute Is a good source for more information about your technician and system requirements. The American Lung Association is another source of good information.

Here are some questions to ask your system installer:
* size, type, and features of the system
* Selection of proper fuel
* Appropriate size, type and configuration of the venting system
* proper materials for heat protection of walls and floors
* Compliance with code requirements and manufacturers instructions
* Guidlines for operation and maintenance of the hearth and venting system

Posted on November 22nd, 2008 at 09:11 by Alex Smith in carbon monoxide devices,Home Safety,Home Security,Uncategorized - Comments (2)

The first special device I want to talk about is a Carbon Monoxide Detector. They are sold at many retail stores for homes, but they are not usually recomended for RV’s. RV’s take a special type of detector.

There are different laws & regulations from state to state and communities. I recommend before purchasing a carbon monoxide detector, to call your local fire department or building codes enforcement office.

The minimum detectors I recommend is having at least one detector on each level of your home. Do not place them near any furnaces, gas fired stoves or heaters, kitchens, areas under 40 or over 100 degrees, high steam or vapor levels, or near automobile exhaust areas. If a carbon monoxide detector is placed is inside your kitchen cabinets it may not be safte from the heat, and it might be slow to pick up the Carbon Monoxide due to poor ventilation.

Learn the symptoms of “the silent killer”; Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, oderless gas and is deadly. The most common source is usually from a furnace or heater that have been improperly installed or developed a “cracked” heat exchanger or flu. Improper use of space heater can also be dangerous. They should only be used where there is ample ventilation. Also incomplete combustion of fuel in furnaces and heaters can cause carbon monoxide to form. Many people store items in close proximity of the furnaces and heaters, limiting proper air flow. Be sure all gas fired appliances have good airflow for proper operation. These can be natural gas, propane heaters, oil, kerosene, coal, charcoal or wood appliances.

One or more of the first signs of carbon monoxide poisoning may be a headache, dizziness, sleepiness, mental confusion, tightness in the chest, and breathing difficulties blurred vision. These syptoms are often confused as flu-like syptoms.

It can happen to anyone at any age, however, infants and small children are at a higher risk because they are known to sleep more and appear to be normal.

The first signs of any of these symptoms or if your carbon monoxide detector sounds exit the house immediately. This includes all pets. Don’t try to find the source, leave the home.

If you have an alarm system it will have already contacted the alarm monitoring center. They probably have contacted the fire department. It is best to wait until they arrive and search your home for the cause before re-entering the home.

If you purchase a CO Device, be sure it has a UL Seal of Approval. If it is battery powered change the batteries every time you change the daylight times. Check them on a regular basis. They will have a button you can press to see if they are working or not. If it is powered by household electricity buy one that has a back-up battery in case you lose power. Again, keep this battery fresh as well.

A good website to learn more is:

Remember: There are two key conditions for the operation of any fuel burning appliance: Proper ventilation & complete combustion.

Posted on March 2nd, 2006 at 20:06 by Alex Smith in carbon monoxide devices,Home Safety - Comments (0)

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