Building Safety Homeowner Tip
Building safety codes require specific venting and combustion air provisions for gas appliances to ensure safe operation. Gas water heaters and furnaces need plenty of fresh air to operate safely. Otherwise they will produce excessive, deadly carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless and toxic, which means you can’t see, taste or smell it. It causes headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. Carbon monoxide can kill, so be sure to maintain your gas appliances.
Imagine a gas water heater in a small closet, behind a solid door, and without any openings in walls providing that necessary combustion air. After using all of the closet’s combustion air for the burning process, the air pressure in the closet will become lower than the one inside the water heater’s vent flue pipe.
The water heater closet will pretty much act like a vacuum and the exhaust gases may be sucked back into the closet space instead of being discharged to the exterior. Since the oxygen starving combustion process is now producing deadly carbon monoxide, it will eventually leak through the gaps around the closet door into the house.
Safety Operate Your Gas Appliances:
- Schedule an annual appliance inspection, cleaning and tune-up by a qualified specialist.
- Have them check the vents and chimneys.
- Have them check the combustion air provisions for your appliances.
- Store combustibles and flammables far away from gas appliances.
- Never cover any openings.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s specifications.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector inside your house.
For gas safety information check out the Southwest Gas website http://www.swgas.com/safety/index.php
.If you have any questions, please contact the Town of Sahuarita Planning and Building Department.