Mahwah NJ Fire Department

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Carbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon monoxide, also known as CO, is called the “Invisible Killer” because it’s a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. More than 150 people in the Unites States die every year from accidental nonfire-related CO poisoning associated with consumer products, including generators. Other products include faulty, improperly-used or incorrectly-vented fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fireplaces.
Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission
 
Know the symptoms of CO poisoning
Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission
Because CO is odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, people may not know that they are being exposed. The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever). They include; headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness
 
High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:
-Mental confusion
-Vomiting
-Loss of muscular coordination
-Loss of consciousness
-Ultimately death
 
CO Alarm Installation
– Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
– Install and maintain CO alarms inside your home to provide early warning of carbon monoxide.
– CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards.
– For the best protection, have CO alarms that are interconnected throughout the home.
– When one sounds, they all sound. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height. Combination smoke-CO alarms must be installed in accordance with requirements for smoke alarms.CO alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms and vice versa.
– Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and the sound of CO alarms.
 
CO Alarms: Testing and Replacement
Test CO alarms at least once a month and replace them if they fail to respond correctly when tested. The sensors in CO alarms have a limited life. Replace the CO alarm according to manufacturer’s instructions or when the end-of-life signal sounds.
 
Know the difference between the sound of the CO alarm and the smoke alarm, and their low-battery signals. If the audible low battery signal sounds, replace the batteries or replace the device. If the CO alarm still sounds, get to a fresh air location and call 9-1-1 or the fire department.
 
To keep CO alarms working well, follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.