CAUTION! Using an unvented natural gas, propane or kerosene space heater or fireplace is unsafe and dangerous. These devices are not approved for home use and violate California Health and Safety Code.
Combustible materials and combustion by-products. Without venting, extremely dangerous materials and by-products such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, soot and unburned hydrocarbons are released directly into your home.
Carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is toxic, and deadly, at high levels and can cause long-term health problems at low-levels.
Associated health problems. Carbon dioxide can make you feel drowsy and cause eye irritation. Nitrogen dioxide, even at low levels, may affect your immune system and increase susceptibility to respiratory infections.
Oxygen depletion. Room heaters use up oxygen, so without enough air from an outside vent or open window they can result in serious illness or death.
Fire hazard. Unvented heaters may have uncovered flames, which can result in injuries or fires.
Always be cautious when using natural gas fireplace logs, as improper use or poor maintenance can result in carbon monoxide poisoning, oxygen depletion and fire. To avoid serious accidents, permanently block the chimney damper open.
Keep children away. The furnace grill can become very hot.
Do not cover or block. Avoid placing rugs, furniture or combustible items over the grill as this can block airflow and cause a fire.
Maintain burners. Clean the burner compartment of built-in vented wall furnaces one a month during the heating season.
Central Gravity Furnaces
Clean the furnace heat register. Keep it free of lint and dust.
Maintain unobstructed flow. Do not place items nearby that might stop or prevent airflow.
Avoid fire hazards. Keep combustible items such as newspaper or cleaning equipment away.
Check the filter. During heating season, check the filter on a monthly basis and clean or replace when necessary.
Maintain safe front panel/door position.
Ensure the front panel door of the furnace always fits snugly.
Never operate the furnace without the front-panel door properly in place to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Most newer forced-air furnaces have a safety switch that prevents furnace operation when the filter compartment door/panel is not in place.
Older furnaces installed in a closet and operated with the panel/door not in place can circulate carbon monoxide throughout the house.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas formed when carbon-based fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, propane, natural gas, oil charcoal or wood, are burned with inadequate amounts of oxygen. Prolonged exposure can lead to death by asphyxiation.
Unexplained nausea or drowsiness
Flu-like symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, vomiting or shortness of breath
What should you do if you suspect carbon monoxide is present?
Turn off the appliance as long as it is safe to do so.
Evacuate the premises and call 911.
Seek medical attention if anyone demonstrates carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms.
Call for an appliance inspection and do not use the appliance until it has been inspected.
You may want to install a home carbon monoxide alarm in addition to regularly maintaining your gas appliance. Also perform routine maintenance on your alarm and replace it every 3-5 years to ensure proper functioning.