While we have been advising everyone to Service their Heaters and get a Carbon Monoxide Test done for a while now, residents of Victorian Public Housing homes have now been urged to not use their heaters heading concerns for their health and safety. Energy Safe Victoria has suspended the certification for a series of space heaters amid fears of carbon monoxide poisoning.
This followed an inquiry resulting from the death of Sonia Sofianopoulos in July 2017. Sofianopoulos was found dead with her heater still on in her residence in Greensborough. The Department of Health and Human Services has made contact with more than 6,500 tenants who currently have these heaters in their homes. If you believe you own one of these Heaters, get more information by clicking here.
Photo Source: Product Safety Australia
With cooler weather fast approaching there are fears for the health and well being of these tenants. While the Department of Health and Human Services are working on alternative heating sources for winter, others may not know what options they have. There is nothing better than walking in to a warm and cosy home. The warmth can often over shadow the fact that an improperly serviced heater can be dangerous to all in our home. Carbon monoxide poisoning is found to be more dangerous for the young and elderly. However, the silent killer will attack all in its path.
Even while a heater may be working fine, carbon monoxide could still be present in your home. Carbon Monoxide has no colour or scent and can easily lead to accidental deaths.
ABC spoke with a public housing resident, Yasmin, who said “I’ve had my heater for 10 years and have become ill and not known why, as have many of my neighbours.” The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to that of the flu. This can make it even more difficult to identify. While the ultimate price is death, carbon monoxide poisoning can also leave a person with long term health issues such as heart disease and brain damage.
Here are some tips to keep you and your home safe from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
- Get your Gas Heater Unit serviced by a trained professional every one to two years
- Have a carbon monoxide exposure test undertaken in your home or office space
- Ensure your appliances have adequate ventilation
- Check and clean your chimney regularly
- Do not use a portable gas camp burner inside
- Never use a generator inside your home, garage or basement
- Have your car exhaust system checked by your mechanic
- Clear any blockages from the exhaust pipe of a wood heater
Energy Safe Victoria recently released the cold feet campaign. They have pushed the message that you should get your heater serviced every one to two years to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.