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How To Check Your Fireplace For Carbon Monoxide

By Lawrence Macmillan June 09, 2022

Are you worried that your fireplace is leaking carbon monoxide and don’t know how to check it?

How To Check Your Fireplace For Carbon Monoxide

Maybe you have installed a new fireplace and want to know how you can check safely for carbon monoxide?

Whatever question brought you here today, we have the answers for you!

Carbon monoxide is incredibly dangerous and if left undetected, could cause serious harm to you and your family.

We all know that our gas boiler could cause a leak in our homes, but what about our fireplaces?

They can leak carbon monoxide into our homes, and often slip through the cracks when it comes to checking for carbon monoxide in our homes.

Well, no more! Today we are here to tell you how you can check your fireplace for carbon monoxide, helping to keep you and your family as safe as possible. Just keep reading to find out more.

What Is Carbon Monoxide?

Before we dive in, let’s have a quick recap for those that need it! Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas, formed when the combustion of fuels is incomplete.

Carbon monoxide, CO, is found in fumes from stoves, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, lanterns, cars, and trucks.

Breathing in CO can cause chest pain, dizziness, headaches, vomiting, confusion, weakness, and an upset stomach.

Breathing in large amounts of CO can cause you to pass out or even die. Often, people who die as a result of CO poisoning won’t have any symptoms.

It can be incredibly frightening for homeowners, and the best way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning is to know what symptoms to look out for and regularly service any appliances that could emit carbon monoxide.

Now that we have established what carbon monoxide is, let’s take a look at how you can check your fireplace for carbon monoxide.

How To Check Your Fireplace For Carbon Monoxide

How To Check Your Fireplace For Carbon Monoxide

When it comes to checking your fireplace for carbon monoxide, there are a few things you can do.

We recommend that you make our following tips part of your routine.

By checking regularly, you can catch any small leaks and get them repaired before carbon monoxide leaks into your home!

When it comes to carbon monoxide, catching leaks early is key to keeping you and your family safe.

Let’s get into it and look at what you should be doing to keep your fireplace safe for use in your home!

Install A Carbon Monoxide Detector

When it comes to checking your fireplace for carbon monoxide, you will want to first install a carbon monoxide detector.

These small devices are similar to a smoke detector and will alert you when there are levels of carbon monoxide detected in your home.

These are essential if you have a gas boiler or fireplace in your home.

The small device will usually beep if there are levels of carbon monoxide, alerting you to a leak quickly.

The detectors aren’t expensive and can either be attached to a wall or stood on a cabinet. You can purchase them in most stores or online.

It's best to place the detector as close to your fireplace as possible so that it picks up on any leak as soon as possible.

Check For Stains

A common sign of a CO leak is yellowish or brown stains around appliances. You would find these around your fireplace or other appliance leaking CO.

If your fireplace is in a surround, you might notice these stains on there, or the wall, or any plug outlets.

We recommend checking the room and surrounding area regularly for any stains.

If you notice any stains, the best thing to do is contact a professional to come out and check for any leaks. The earlier you catch the leak, the better!

Watch The Flame

For fireplaces (except natural gas fireplaces), your burner flame is a good indicator of a CO leak.

If the burner flame is yellow instead of a clear blue, then there could be a carbon monoxide leak.

It’s worth frequently checking the flame, say weekly, and contact a professional if you see any changes in the flame.

It is always better to check regularly so that you can catch any leaks quickly.

Sniff The Air

If the air in your room or chimney smells stale, it can be a sign of a carbon monoxide leak.

Now it isn’t always easy to simply stick your head up the chimney and have a good sniff, but the air in your room is also a good sign.

If you keep the room with your fireplace well ventilated, then you should be able to notice a change in the air quickly.

However, it can be easy if you are in the room every day to notice a change. Ask a family member or friend to come in and see if the air smells stale to them.

Providing you frequently open windows, stale-smelling air is likely to be a sign of a carbon monoxide leak.

Be sure to contact a professional for them to inspect the fireplace immediately.

Hire A Professional

Whether you have noticed any of the signs mentioned above or not, you should have a professional inspect your fireplace annually.

This not only ensures that your fireplace is frequently serviced, but means that any leak, no matter the size, can be caught quickly.

You can contact the manufacturer of your fireplace for a recommendation of a professional to service your fireplace or find one yourself in your local area.

Having a professional look at your fireplace is a fantastic way to ensure that your fireplace is safe for use and often isn’t too expensive too!

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, a few things you should look out for when checking your fireplace.

We recommend carrying out these checks weekly or monthly depending on how often you use your fireplace.

By looking for these signs of a CO leak, you are more likely to catch it early and keep yourself and your family safe!


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