Skip to Content

Cold Weather Dangers

With colder weather moving into mid-Missouri, many people will fire up their furnaces for the first time in months. With that, comes potential dangers, and firefighters say there are a few things you need to look out for. Different heating companies in Columbia said Thursday, they have been busy conducting furnace checks for home owners. A furnace check costs around 70 to 100 dollars, but fire officials suggest having your furnace inspected before turning it on for the season. Aaron Lane works for Chapman Heating and Cooling, and he has been doing a handful of inspections each day since cooler temperatures started moving in. While working with Lane Thursday, ABC 17 News crews found three things homeowners should look for in order to stay safe. * Gas Leaks: Lane says, “most of the time it’s pretty obvious when you have a gas leak — you can smell it.” This problem, like many others, can be avoided by frequently changing the filter. * Dirty Filters: Lane says that although it varies from house to house, changing your filter a few times per year will lower the chances of other problems arising. “It can be a domino effect,” he says, “a simple dirty filter can cause many problems.” * Carbon Monoxide Leaks: it’s the one concern experts say is always there, but never noticeable. Gale Blomenkamp, a battalion chief for the Boone County Fire Protection District says, “you could have a build-up of carbon monoxide, which is our greatest fear… It’s known as the silent killer for a reason.” Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, and in cold weather, it can be building up in your home without you knowing it. Lane says, “in the winter everybody’s windows are closed, you’ve got your house sealed, and it will compile and compile.” Lane measured CO levels inside a furnace, registering at around 20 parts per million. He says if that were to leak out into the air, it would not take much more to have an effect. “The danger actually starts where you’ll notice symptoms — anywhere from 35-70 parts per million,” Lane says. “Every home that has gas needs a carbon monoxide detector.” Lane suggests homeowners buy low-level CO monitors that register amounts as small as five parts per million. He says many monitors will not pick up carbon monoxide until it’s 400 or even 700 parts per million. By that point, small children and even pets could become sick. Symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure include nausea, vomiting, and eventually passing out. Fire officials suggest checking CO detectors monthly.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

ABC 17 News Team


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content