Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
As we welcome in cooler temperatures and prepare for another home-heating season, it is imperative that area residents respect the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and take steps to prevent a CO incident in their home.
Consider these facts:
- CO is undetectable to humans. Unlike a fire that can be seen or smelled, CO is colorless and odorless. Lethal levels can be present, and you will not know it.
- At high levels, CO will literally paralyze anyone exposed. You are unable to help yourself, you are unable to help your family, yet you will be aware of it.
- CO can be lethal. It is not uncommon to lose an entire family to CO poisoning.
- Prevention and Early Warning are the only options for protecting you and your family.
Consider these prevention methods:
- Have all of your gas-fired appliances inspected by a qualified technician at the beginning of the heating season.
- Never use cooking appliances as a heat source.
- Make sure your furnace can get plenty of fresh air. Do not add walls around your furnace without providing a fresh air source. (A common remodeling mistake) Do not crowd storage next to your furnace.
- Do not leave a vehicle running in an attached garage.
- Do not use gas-fired or charcoal grills indoors.
- Do not use portable generators or gas-fired pumps indoors. A small engine left running in an attached garage or in a basement is a common source of multiple CO deaths.
- The TRFD does not endorse or recommend the use of unvented gas-fired heaters.
- Install carbon-monoxide detectors in your home. At least one on every level of your home. At least one close to main bedroom so a nighttime event will wake someone up.
- The TRFD recommends a CO detector that plugs into the wall, has a digital readout, and has a battery backup.
- Avoid installing CO detectors next to bathrooms. Moisture and aerosols tend to produce false alarms.
For further information or assistance, feel free to call the TRFD at 269-278-3755.