FIRE SAFETY EDUCATION PAGE
WHAT IS CARBON MONOXIDE?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless gas that comes from burning fossil fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal propane, oil and methane. When these fuels burn incompletely, carbon monoxide is produced. Home heating and cooking appliances can produce carbon monoxide if damaged or misused. Vehicles such as cars, trucks, tractors and lawn mowers are also a source of carbon monoxide. Any motor allowed to run indoors can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
What Are The Effects Of Carbon Monoxide Exposure To People?
Carbon monoxide replaces the oxygen that is in your bloodstream; this can lead to suffocation. Flu-like symptoms are an early indication of mild carbon monoxide poisoning. More serious exposure can lead to difficulty breathing and eventually death. Those most at risk for poisoning are the very young (4 years or younger) and the very old (75 years and older).
How Do I Protect My Family From Carbon Monoxide?
Safe use and proper installation of household appliances that burn fossil fuels, as well as, proper use of vehicles, especially in attached garages, is the best protection you can provide your family. Carbon monoxide detectors can add a level of protection, but are not a substitute for safe use of equipment. Have all heating equipment inspected and serviced each year and know the proper use and maintenance of household cooking equipment. The following is a list of safety tips:
Do not run motors indoors; even if garage doors are open.
Have your vehicles inspected for exhaust leaks.
Inspect and repair chimneys, fireplaces, wood stoves, etc. each year before the cold weather sets in.
Be sure your heating equipment has an adequate supply of fresh air for combustion.
Open the flu when using the fireplace to ensure adequate ventilation.
Always refuel kerosene heaters outdoors after heater has cooled sufficiently. KEROSENE HEATERS ARE ILLEGAL IN ALL BUILDINGS EXCEPT OWNER/OCCUPIED 1 & 2 FAMILY HOMES IN THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY.
Gas barbecue grills can produce carbon monoxide. Never use them indoors or in the garage; even if the garage doors are open.
When camping, use battery-powered heaters and lights in tents, trailers and mobile homes. CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS ARE REQUIRED IN ALL RECREATIONAL VEHICLES AS PER FEDERAL DOT LAW.
What Are Carbon Monoxide Detectors?
Carbon monoxide detectors measure the amount of carbon monoxide gas that has accumulated. Current carbon monoxide detectors sound an alarm when the concentration of carbon monoxide in the air is equal to or above 10% carboxyhemoglobin level in the blood. 10% carboxyhemoglobin is the lowest level of carbon monoxide poisoning. This sensitivity may cause the alarm to sound before any symptoms appear. It is important to treat all alarms as serious and have the cause determined to be sure your home is safe. When buying a carbon monoxide detector, but only units that have been tested by qualified testing laboratories. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation and use of your carbon monoxide detector in your home. Test your carbon monoxide detector once a month along with your smoke detectors. Replace your carbon monoxide detector every two years, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
What Should I Do If My Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm Goes Off?
Make sure no one is experiencing any signs of carbon monoxide poisoning
If symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are present, every one should exit the building leaving the doors open as you go
Once outside, use the neighbors phone to call 9-1-1, report the alarm and request immediate medical help, follow the instructions you are given
If symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are not present, open windows and doors, shut down heating and cooking equipment
Call a qualified technician to inspect and service your equipment
Be on the look out for symptoms of carbon monoxide