CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) – WHAT IS IT?

  • Poisonous gas that is odorless, colorless, tasteless and non-irritating.
  • It crowds out life-sustaining oxygen from red blood cells and prevents the body from absorbing oxygen.


CARBON MONIXIDE – WARNING SIGNS


  • Exposure to CO can cause symptoms such as dizziness, headache, nausea, and fatigue, burning eyes, vomiting or loss of muscle control.
  • If you experience any of these symptoms or your CO alarm goes off, leave your home immediately and call 911 from a safe location.

PLACEMENT OF CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS


  • On every level of your home. In order to ensure that your home has maximum protection, it's important to have a CO detector on every floor.
  • Five feet from the ground. Carbon monoxide detectors can get the best reading of your home's air when they are placed five feet from the ground.
  • Near every sleeping area. If your CO levels get too high during the nighttime, it's important that detectors can be heard by everyone sleeping in your home. Place your detectors close enough to every sleeping area so that they can awaken everyone in the case of an emergency.
  • Near attached garages. Cars produce carbon monoxide any time they are running. If you have an attached garage, those gasses can quickly spread to the rest of your house. A CO detector near your attached garage will warn you if that becomes a problem.
  • Where the manufacturer recommends. Every model of carbon monoxide detector is tested according to manufacturer specifications. It's important to take those specifications into account when you're deciding where to place your detectors.

TYPES OF CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS

Most CO Alarms work on the same principle and come as either 12 volt battery or 120 volt household or both.

TESTING

  1. Test at least once a month by pushing “test” button, replace if it fails to respond.
  2. Learn and know the difference between the “alarm” sound and the “fault” sound. This is usually found on the back of the alarm.


LIFE EXPECTANCY OF CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS

The manufacturer recommendations are five to ten years as stated on the packaging and should be replaced as specified as sensing chambers deteriorate over time.

FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE


  • Proper installation, use, maintenance and inspection of your fuel burning appliances is always your first line of defense.
  • Fireplaces can use up to ten times as much air in your home as your furnace. Ensure there is adequate combustion air for all appliances.
  • Never use a Charcoal BBQ grill, portable gas grill or similar equipment inside a home, tent, trailer or garage.
  • Never operate vehicles in an enclosed area.
  • Keep all flue vents and chimneys clear of debris and other blockages.
  • Never block or plug a furnace combustion air intake or a fresh air vent.
  • Do not store anything close to your appliance that could restrict air circulation.
  • Have your fuel fired appliances checked regularly by a qualified person.

Smoke Alarms / Detectors

MAINTAINING YOUR SMOKE ALARM

Monthly – Test your smoke alarm by pressing the “test button” on the face of the alarm. Pressing the button indicates that the power supply (120 volt house current or 9 volt battery supply) is functioning.

Yearly – The sensing chamber should be tested annually to ensure it is still active. The proper way to test a smoke alarm sensing chamber is by producing a small amount of smoke that can drift up to the smoke alarm. The alarm should activate within 20 seconds or less. This test should be done when changing the battery.

Batteries – Batteries should be changed once a year or when your smoke alarm gives off a faint peep sound every few seconds or minutes. This beep is an indication that the batteries are weak. A good time to change batteries is in the spring or fall. 

Keep them clean – Dust and debris can interfere with their operation, so vacuum over and around the smoke alarms, this will help prevent false alarms.

NUISANCE ALARMS

If you have a “nuisance alarm” that goes off frequently with cooking fumes or humidity from the bathroom, do not remove the battery. Move the smoke alarm further from the kitchen or bathroom, or consider a photo electric smoke alarm in these areas.

Newer smoke alarms have a hush feature button that can be activated silencing the alarm for a set time allowing the sensing chamber to clear.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE CHANGE OUR SMOKE ALARMS?

The life expectancy of smoke alarms is generally 10 years, after which point their sensors can begin to lose sensitivity. Look for the replacement sticker (on new alarms) reminding you in which year you need to replace the smoke alarm with a new one.

PERSONS WITH HEARING LOSS

Information on where to purchase Smoke Alarms for people with hearing loss, contact Strathmore Fire Department 403-934-3022.

In the event of a fire, a smoke alarm can save your life and those of your loved ones. They are one of the most important means of preventing fire fatalities by providing an early warning signal so you and your family can escape.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Most importantly, smoke alarms should be installed near sleeping areas. Many fatal fires begin late at night or in the early morning. For extra safety, install smoke alarms inside bedrooms.

The best location to install a smoke alarm is on the ceiling. Since smoke raises installing your smoke alarm at the proper level will provide you with the earliest warning possible. Always follow the manufacturers’ installation instructions. 

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Knowledge can save a life...