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Home Safety 101 - Carbon Monoxide Alarms

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has several flyers and helpful information on Carbon Monoxide Alarms. Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, propane, etc. do not burn completely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of CO. Carbon monoxide incidents are more common during the winter months, and in residential properties. Vehicles or generators left running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. A lot of families are not familiar with the hazards of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home. I have added two NFPA flyer PDF’s for you to download. 

Get to Know Carbon Monoxide Alarms 

Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips Flyer

I have gathered some fact and safety tips about Carbon Monoxide from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)  that I wanted to passing on to you:

  • The dangers of CO exposure depend on a number of variables, including the victim's health and activity level. Infants, pregnant women, and people with physical conditions that limit their body's ability to use oxygen (i.e. emphysema, asthma, heart disease) can be more severely affected by lower concentrations of CO than healthy adults would be.

  • A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time.

Safety tips

  • CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.

  • Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.

  • Call your local fire department’s non-emergency number to find out what number to call if the CO alarm sounds.

  • Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it. If it still sounds, call the fire department.

  • If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel.

  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.

  • During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.

  • A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.

  • Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO — only use outside.

I hope that this information will help keep your family and home safe. I thank the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for their commitment to educating everyone on Carbon Monoxide and its dangers.  If you know someone that could benefit from this information please forward it on. Check out my Val Cares Page on my website for more Safety Tips.

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