Are you having your roof replaced?
Read this important safety message:
If you’re planning to replace all or parts of your roof, make sure your contractor complies with your local building codes. Non-compliance could result in the removal or separation of your gas vent connections, which could leak carbon monoxide into your home. Inhalation of carbon monoxide poses significant health risks including sickness or death.
Venting normally occurs on residences with gas water heaters and/or furnaces. If your home fits this description, please read the following:
- Ensure your contractor is aware of safe clearance requirements of the gas vents to potentially combustible materials. Improperly placed vents could be a potential fire hazard
- A mechanical or plumbing contractor, properly licensed according to state requirements, would be required to pull a permit and check and/or repair damaged vent piping and call for a final inspection
- In Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, as an example:
- Roofers are required to obtain a building permit from the Code Enforcement Department for a single family residence where the contract work exceeds $ 5,000.00 (be sure to check the laws in your county)
- Even if the work is less than $5,000.00, local building codes may require a mechanical permit to inspect gas venting for any clearance or damages caused by the new construction
If you have any questions about the permit requirements in your city or county, call your local building permit office.
Protect yourself against carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can result as a byproduct of incomplete burning of natural gas or other fossil fuels.
- Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector
- Make sure all gas appliances are installed correctly and checked annually
- Have chimneys cleaned and checked every year for obstructions
- Don’t use outdoor appliances or equipment indoors for space heating or cooking
- Symptoms of CO poisoning:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Ringing sensation in the ears
- Blurred vision
- Chest pains
- Light-headedness or dizziness
Source: Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement Department
Prevent hot water scalding
You can prevent dangerous hot water scalding incidents with one quick check to make sure your water heater is set to a temperature of no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to always check the water temperature before placing a child in a bath tub.
Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Check your appliance connectors
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging everyone to have their flexible natural gas appliance connectors checked. Some flexible connectors manufactured between 30 and 40 years ago may require replacement immediately due to high instances of failure.
Do not attempt to check your flexible natural gas appliance connectors yourself. Contact a licensed professional.
Ensure proper grounding of corrugate stainless steel tubing
Your home or business may have Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST) installed if it was built after 1990, or if your natural gas system has been updated since this date.
What are the risks of CSST?
CSST presents a risk if it is not properly grounded. If lightning strikes a building with CSST that is not properly grounded, there is a possibility this lightening could travel along the CSST and cause a leak and perhaps a fire.
If you suspect CSST may be installed at your home or business, contact a licensed electrician to make sure it is grounded properly. A building inspector can confirm whether CSST is present in your building.