During cold weather months, you'll be using your heating systems at the shop and the job sites. All heaters that burn fuel can leak deadly carbon monoxide. These fuels include natural gas, kerosene, oil, and propane. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that furnaces, heaters, and space heaters that burn fuels be inspected to detect carbon monoxide (CO) leaks. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas. Exposure to this gas will initially produce " flu-like" symptoms and can cause death if high concentrations are encountered.

Heaters should be checked for gas leaks and adequate ventilation. Chimneys, flues, and vents need to be inspected for blockages and leaks. Birds and other animals often nest in vents, blocking exhaust and causing the gases to enter the workplace. Never block ventilation air openings. Vents, chimneys, etc. should also be checked for a tight, solid connection to the heater. If you use portable heaters in the shop or job, give them a ' tune-up' by a professional. Proper combustion of fuel and good airflow (checking the air intake to assure proper burning of fuel) will cut the chances of CO poisoning.

Professional and regular inspection of heaters is the first line of defense against the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. A regular inspection will protect your workers and your facilities. And don't forget to take your safety habits home! Your household systems should have the same inspections to protect your family!