Alterations and lack of servicing could have led to CO poisoning

A gas safety officer conducted an assessment of a residence after Technical Safety BC was notified about a gas fireplace operating incorrectly. The assessment found a gas-fired fireplace producing high levels of carbon monoxide in the home.

The resulting investigation found a number of issues with the fireplace, including an incorrect and broken log set and a damaged glass seal. The log set was not original to the fireplace and covered the burner openings. This caused soot build up and produced elevated levels of carbon monoxide. The front glass panel was not properly sealed, allowing the products of combustion to escape from the unit into the home.

It was later discovered that the log set had been replaced by an unqualified individual who was unaware of the consequences of this alteration. Fortunately, the home had a carbon monoxide detector which notified the individuals within the home and they were able to get out safely.

This investigation also led to a meeting with the unqualified individual wherein the safety officer discussed the requirement for all regulated gas work to be performed by qualified individuals.

This incident serves as an important reminder that gas equipment must be assessed and serviced regularly by qualified individuals to ensure safe and effective operation.

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