Cases of carbon monoxide poisoning tend to rise in the winter because malfunctioning heating appliances tend to be the main cause of the toxic gas leaking into homes. Carbon monoxide leaks can quickly become deadly as this poisonous gas is odorless and tasteless, which makes it undetectable without carbon monoxide alarms installed in the home. The longer you breathe in carbon monoxide, the more at risk you are for carbon monoxide poisoning. A medical condition that can be hard to diagnose, the symptoms of carbon monoxide are similar to the flu and common cold: headaches, nausea, weakness, and fatigue. Prolonged exposure to this toxic gas can cause organ damage and even death. Bart Fireside wants our customers to understand the importance of practicing carbon monoxide safety precautions and procedures to prevent being poisoned by this deadly gas. We would like to share with you some carbon monoxide safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
• You should install carbon monoxide detector alarms on every level of your home, next to your smoke alarms. These alarms should also be installed outside every bedroom and in any other area specified by laws, codes, and/or standards. When installing these alarms, be sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
• For the greatest success with carbon monoxide detector alarms, interconnect all of your alarms throughout the home. When one alarm sounds, all of the alarms will sound to alert you and your family, no matter where in your house you may be.
• When buying carbon monoxide detector alarms, be sure the alarms have the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
• Call the non-emergency number of your local fire department to find out which number you should call if your alarms detect a carbon monoxide leak in your home.
• Test your carbon monoxide alarms on a monthly basis to be sure they still function properly. If one alarm is not working, replace it as soon as possible.
• If the audible trouble signal sounds, first check to see if the batteries need replacing. If the alarm continues to sound after putting in new batteries, call the local fire department.
• If the alarm goes off to alert you of a carbon monoxide leak in your house, go outside immediately to breathe fresh air. Make sure everyone in the house has gotten out safely. Call for emergency help from outdoors or another area with fresh air and wait for the emergency responders to arrive.
• If you need to warm up your vehicle, do it outside of the garage. Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor in the garage, even if the doors to the garage are open. If your vehicle is outside and it has snowed, be sure to clear any snow that could be blocking your exhaust pipe.
• During and after a snowstorm, ensure all vents for the clothes dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of any buildup of snow and ice.
• Never use a charcoal or propane gas grill or a generator indoors as they can produce carbon monoxide.
Have any questions about carbon monoxide poisoning? Contact Bart Fireside to find out more safety precautions you can take to avoid this toxic gas.