Monday, January 19, 2015

Dangers of Carbon Monoxide (CO)

With the winter chill in the air, it’s a good time to remind people about the importance of knowing the dangers of Carbon Monoxide (CO). 

The Fire Department generally sees a rise in carbon monoxide calls during Wisconsin’s winter months. Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas that is slightly denser than air. It’s often called the “invisible killer” and can come from a variety of sources. Malfunctioning or improperly ventilated furnaces or heating appliances are the most common. Some others include portable generators, water heaters, clothing dryers and vehicles left running in garages. Symptoms to be mindful of are headache, nausea and drowsiness. Exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal.

Did you know Wisconsin state law requires at least one CO alarm on each floor in a one or two family home? When selecting a CO alarm make certain it is UL listed and tested. And also be certain to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for installation.

Know the difference between the smoke alarm sound and the CO alarm sound.  Make sure if you are letting your car warm up in the cold weather to remove the car from the garage.  Never use the stove top or oven to heat your home. If your carbon monoxide alarm sounds evacuate the residence and stay outside. Notify the fire department using 9-1-1 and stay outside. 

Your Bellevue Fire Department recommends monthly CO alarm checks, if not equipped with a 10 year battery, and the changing of alarm batteries in fall and spring when you change your clocks. Stay warm and safe this new year!

Make it a safe day!