It’s not only fire that firefighters are concerned about, as they attempt to continue to educate the community during Fire Prevention Month.
According to Fire Chief Mike Napolitano, there’s also the danger of the “silent killer,” which becomes even more of a threat at cooler weather arrives and more residents put their furnaces to work.
According to information from the National Fire Protection Association, protecting homes from carbon monoxide poisoning is of vital importance all year, but especially as furnaces are put back into use in the fall.
One way to combat CO poisoning is with the use of alarms, according to NFPA information.
“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.”
To make sure the alarms work well, it’s recommended to do something Americans don’t always do — read and follow the directions.
“Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height. Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing
And remember, the fire department is up on this equipment, the NFPA advised.
“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.”
Finally, if the alarms go off, take them seriously.
“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.”
One unexpected source of CO poisoning can come from starting your car, especially in homes with attached garages.
“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,” the NFPA warns.