The US Fire Administration and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention offers life-saving ideas on the different carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors. They tell you where to place them in your home and how to care & maintain them.
Carbon monoxide: Although the popularity of carbon monoxide (CO) alarms has been growing in recent years, it cannot be assumed that everyone is familiar with the hazards of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home.
Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of carbon monoxide. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. For more information visit the National Fire Protection Association.
Protect Against CO Poisoning
- Install at least one UL (Underwriters Laboratories) listed carbon monoxide alarm with an audible warning signal near sleeping areas and outside individual bedrooms. Carbon monoxide alarms measure levels of CO over time and are designed to sound an alarm before an average, healthy adult would experience symptoms. The presence of a carbon monoxide alarm in your home can save your life in the event of CO buildup.
- Have a qualified professional check all fuel burning appliances, furnaces, venting and chimney systems at least once a year.
- Never use your range or oven to help heat your home and never use a charcoal grill or hibachi in your home or garage.
- Never keep a vehicle running in a garage. Even if the garage doors are open, normal circulation will not provide enough fresh air to prevent a dangerous buildup of CO.
- When purchasing an existing home, have a qualified technician evaluate the integrity of the heating and cooking systems, as well as the sealed spaces between the garage and house.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a very real and serious health issue in the home. It is an odorless, colorless, invisible, toxic gas that is a byproduct of the chemical reaction that takes place as common fuels burn. Unfortunately, almost all fossil fuels and even alternative fuels like wood emit carbon monoxide when they burn.
ElectricanFAQ wants to help your family be carbon monoxide aware, and protected. CO enters the body through breathing. Some symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness or headaches, it can also be confused with flu symptoms, food poisoning and other illnesses. High levels of CO can be fatal, causing death within minutes.
If your CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door, and call for help. Find and remain at a safe and fresh air location until emergency personnel say it is OK to return.