San Diego

SDG&E Offers Free Gas Appliance Checkups to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Yellow flames, a rising yellow blaze, indicates the gas appliance is releasing carbon monoxide, a difficult to detect gas that can prove fatal.

SDG&E has announced to residents across San Diego County that this holiday season it's imperative to have your gas appliances checked and prevent the hazard of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Free appointments are available to have a service crew member visit your household and assess the safety of various gas appliances, ranging from furnaces to water heaters, said an SDG&E official.

“We just want to make sure our community is nice and safe out there,” Daniel Wade, an SDG&E Gas Operation Instructor, told NBC 7.

The company's first priority is to make sure there isn't any possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. At the free gas appliance checkups SDG&E crew members will take a visual inspection, check the gas connectors, make sure there's no scorch marks or fire hazards, check the filter and look for gaps at the base of the furnace, said Wade.

If there are any gaps at the base of the furnace, the SDG&E crew member will patch it up at no charge, as long as it's not too big, said Wade. It's part of the free gas appliance checkup to fix gaps.

“Especially with the time of the holidays, it’s cold outside and a lot of us are going to be inside with our families, and we want to make sure all of our customers are safe during the holidays," said Wade.

Flames on a furnace should burn in small cones, uniform in shape and mostly blue with slightly orange tips, said Wade. If the orange flames flit upwards, that's called 'lifting up flame' and is an indication of problems. If it scorches upward forming a large yellow blaze, that's called 'yellow flame.'

Yellow flame can be a sign the fire is producing carbon monoxide -- a silent, scentless and tasteless but deadly gas. Whether gas appliances are new or old, this is a very important annual check to have, said Wade.

The current wait for an appointment is about six days in the middle of the busy holiday rush, according to SDG&E. Residents can schedule a gas appliance checkup by going to their website or calling 1(800)401-7343.

SDG&E wants to ensure all their customers are safe this holiday season, especially in the winter season when residents spend more time at home to stay warm. California homeowners are all required to install carbon monoxide detectors in their homes.

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