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Carbon Monoxide (CO) is often referred to as the 'silent killer' and is the leading cause of deaths attributed to poison in the United States. It is an odorless, invisible and extremely dangerous gas that can be emitted from everyday appliances to the car parked in your garage. You cannot see or smell carbon monoxide, but at heightened levels it carries the potential of killing a person within minutes. Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced whenever any fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal is burned. When appliances that burn fuel are maintained and properly used, the amount of CO produced is usually not hazardous. However, if appliances are not working properly or are used incorrectly, dangerous levels of CO can be generated.
Hundreds of people die accidentally every year from CO poisoning caused by malfunctioning or improperly used fuel-burning appliances. Even more individuals die from CO produced by idling cars. First Alert Carbon Monoxide Alarms and First Alert Carbon Monoxide Detectors can greatly assist in identifying and detecting CO threats. First Alert CO Alarms can give you ample amounts of time to evacuate your home.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors are available and you should have one present in your home as a back-up -- BUT NOT AS A REPLACEMENT for proper use and maintenance of your fuel-burning appliances. Don't let buying a CO detector lull you into a false sense of security. Preventing CO from becoming a problem in your home is better than relying on an alarm. Always follow the checklist of DOs and DON'Ts.
Prevention is the Key to Avoiding Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
DO choose appliances that vent their fumes to the outside whenever possible, have them properly installed, and maintain them according to manufacturers' instructions.
DON'T idle the car in a garage -- even if the garage door to the outside is open. Fumes can build up very quickly in the garage and living area of your home.
DON'T use a gas oven to heat your home, even for a short time.
DON'T ever use a charcoal grill indoors -- even in a fireplace.
DON'T sleep in any room with an unvented gas or kerosene space heater.
DON'T use any gasoline-powered engines (mowers, weed trimmers, snow blowers, chain saws, small engines or generators) in enclosed spaces.
If the Carbon Monoxide Detector goes off:
Make sure it is your CO alarm and not your smoke alarm.
Check to see if any member of the household is experiencing symptoms of poisoning.
If they are, get them out of the house immediately and seek medical attention. Tell the doctor that you suspect CO poisoning.
If no one is feeling symptoms, ventilate the home with fresh air, turn off all potential sources of CO -- your oil or gas furnace, gas water heater, gas range and oven, gas dryer, gas or kerosene space heater and any vehicle or small engine.
Where to Place Carbon Monoxide Alarms: One on every level of the home and one in each sleeping area.
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