Fire safety: Carbon Monoxide

  • Carbon Monoxide is invisible, odorless and tasteless, it can hurt you before you even know it's there.

Sources of Carbon Monoxide:

Any machine that burns fuel can produce carbon monoxide. Many ordinary household appliances and machines may produce CO, including:

  • Non-electric, fuel-fired furnaces.
  • Gas water heaters, stoves and dryers.
  • Gas-powered generators.
  • Fireplaces, wood stoves and charcoal grills.
  • Lawnmowers, snow blowers, leaf blowers, etc.
  • Cars, trucks and motorcycles.

These machines can produce CO if they do not have enough fresh air flowing around them. If CO builds up near you and your family, you can be poisoned, injured, even killed. 

Prevent CO emergencies by avoiding dangerous activities. Never run your car or other gas-powered vehicles in the house or garage, even if the garage door is open. Do not use a charcoal grill or a gas-powered generator inside a house, tent, or other enclosed space.

Call in the Professionals:

Prevent CO buildup by maintaining your equipment. A blocked or leaking chimney, or an undersized vent on a furnace or water heater can lead to CO buildup in your home. If you have a new appliance installed, make sure that the venting system is adequate.

Have your heating system professionally inspected every year. Have other fuel-burning appliances, like your stove and dryer, inspected from time to time to be sure that they are receiving enough fresh air.

* Prevent a CO tragedy by installing CO alarms. CO alarms look like smoke alarms. You can purchase a single alarm unit that detects both smoke and CO.


Place one CO alarm near all sleeping areas and one on each level of the home. Put some alarms on or near the ceiling. DO NOT INSTALL THEM WITHIN 15 FT OF HEATING OR COOKING APPLIANCES, OR IN VERY DAMP AREAS SUCH AS BATHROOMS.

Respond Correctly:

If your CO alarm sounds, do not panic.

  • First: find out if anyone is feeling sick. Early symptoms of CO exposure are headache, sleepiness, nausea and dizziness. If anyone has symptoms, leave the house immediately and use a neighbor's phone/cell phone to call the fire dept.
  • If no one feels ill, you probably do not need to call the fire dept.
  • Turn off any fuel-burning appliances.
  • Open windows for ventilation and reset the alarm.
  • If the alarm sounds again or cannot reset, have a heating and ventilation professional inspect your home as soon as possible.
  • If anyone begins to show signs of CO poisoning, evacuate and call the fire dept.

Every year, 1,500 people die of CO poisoning and 10,000 others need medical attention because of it. CO poisoning is a real threat, one that you cannot see, smell, or taste, but that you can prevent.

* If you have any further questions, or you wish to seek further information regarding "seasonal home preparation", please refer to the "About Us' tab and click on the "Contact" tab.

When to change batteries in smoke detectors.

- Remember to change your batteries in smoke detectors during the time change. This is an easy way to remember to do this on a regular basis and could make the difference in saving someone's life. An easy way to remember the direction of the time change is this;

    - "Spring Ahead" - advance clocks one hour in the spring.

    - "Fall Behind" - Move clock times one hour backward in the fall.