Carbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon Monoxide Safety
Every year, 1,700 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in North America and over 10,000 more are treated or hospitalized. Carbon monoxide (CO) continues to be a considerable safety issue. However, there are many preventable steps you can take to ensure your family is protected against CO poisoning.

10 Tips to Carbon Monoxide Safety:
  1.        Replace CO detectors installed before October 1998.
  2.        The best defense against CO poisoning is installing CO detectors on every level    especially near sleeping areas.
  3.        Press the TEST button on your CO detector monthly to ensure the alarm sounds. Remember, the TEST button is not testing the ability of the device to detect CO, but rather the ability of the detector to sound the alarm.
  4.        Have fuel-burning household heating equipment (furnaces, water heaters, portable heaters, fireplaces, etc.) checked every year before the cold weather sets in.
  5.        Check all chimneys and chimney connectors for proper installation, cracks, blockages, or leaks. Ensure repairs are complete before using the chimney.
  6.        When using a fireplace, ensure the flue is open for sufficient ventilation.      
  7.        Never use a barbecue inside the home or garage.
  8.        During colder weather, never warm up a vehicle inside the garage, even if the garage door is open.
  9.        If a CO alarm does go off inside your home, immediately open windows and doors to air out the house, leave and call the fire department
  10.  Due to the fact that CO has no color, smell, or taste - never ignore an alarm- even if your family members don't feel any symptoms - headache, nausea, dizziness or fatigue. 

    Safety Information for Carbon Monoxide Gas Levels

    0-1 ppm-               Normal background level
    9 ppm-                  Maximum indoor air quality level
    50 ppm-                Maximum concentration for continuous exposure in any
                                 8 hour average level
    200 ppm-               Mild headache, fatigue, nausea and dizziness
    400 ppm-               Frontal headache, life threatening after 3 hours
    800 ppm-               Death within 2 hours
    1600 ppm-             Nausea within 20 minutes, death within 1 hour
    12800 ppm-           Death within 1 to 3 minutes

    The link below has additional information on Carbon Monoxide from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)