Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, and oil burn incompletely. The heating and cooking equipment in your home can also be sources of carbon monoxide. As more fuels are burned in your home during the winter season, the threat for carbon monoxide issues can increase. The National Fire Protection Association suggests installing a CO detector and consider these helpful tips to stay safe:
- Install CO alarms in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every floor in the home. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home so when one sounds, they all sound.
- If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel arrives.
- When warming your vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Don't run a vehicle or other fuel engine/motor indoors, even if garage doors are open.
- During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for your dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clean of snow buildup.
- A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windors, doors, and vent openings.
- Only use gas or charcoal grills outside, as they can produce CO.
- Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
- Test CO alarms at least once a month and replace them according to the manufacturer's instructions.