I might start red-tagging furnaces.Â Â If Centerpoint Energy can do it, why canâ€™t I?Â Â People take these red tags very seriously.
The gas company will red-tag a furnace if they deem it unsafe for use â€“ this could be because of a high carbon monoxide reading in the flue gas, backdrafting, a cracked heat exchanger, or many other things.Â Â Do you know what happens after a furnace gets red-tagged?
The gas company wonâ€™t lock the gas off at the meter, they wonâ€™t notify the gas gods, and no demerits are handed out.
So whatâ€™s the point of the gas company â€˜red-taggingâ€™ a furnace?Â Â Their tags look official, and people make the assumption that theyâ€™ll get in some type of legal trouble if they turn on a furnace that has been red tagged.Â Â The thought of legal trouble seems to be a much bigger motivator than the possibility of injury or death, by say, carbon monoxide poisoning.
As a perfect example, I once did aÂ Saint Paul Truth in HousingÂ evaluation for a family that was selling their house.Â Â It was a cold January day, the entire family was home during the middle of the day, and they had the oven running with the door wide open.Â Â They were using the oven to heat their house. I told them that this was a serious safety hazard, and I distinctly remember the mother telling me with a chuckle:
â€œWe appreciate your concern, hon, but we ainâ€™t goin' anywhere.â€
The woman obviously cared about following the law because she hired me to perform the city inspection, but she didnâ€™t have much concern for her familiesâ€™ safety.Â Â That would have been a great time to pull out a red tag.
I have to get some.
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