- Monday February 24th, 2014 :: 01:47 p.m. MST
Carbon Monoxide safety information
With the recent CO incident here in Pocatello, many questions are being asked about how to prevent and mitigate CO hazards.
What is CO?
CO is a byproduct of incomplete combustion. CO sources can include malfunctioning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, ovens and water heaters that operate by burning fossil fuels such as natural or liquefied petroleum (LP). When malfunctioning appliances are not adequately ventilated, the amount of CO in the air may rise to a level that can cause illness or even death.
What are the symptoms?
CO poisoning victims may initially suffer flu-like symptoms including nausea, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, confusion and breathing difficulty. CO poisoning often causes a victim's blood pressure to rise, turning the victim's skin a pink or red cast.
How can a CO incident be avoided?
The most important steps are preventive. Have a qualified service professional inspect your fuel-burning appliances at least once a year. Install UL Listed CO alarms outside of sleeping areas and near all fuel-burning appliances.
Other precautions include:
• Avoid using charcoal grills inside a home, tent, camper, or in an unventilated garage.
• Do not allow vehicle exhaust fumes to enter the home.
• Make sure all fuel-burning appliances are properly ventilated.
What do I look for in a CO alarm?
Rather than looking for specific features, look for the UL Mark or other independent laboratories with the adjacent phrase "Single Station Carbon Monoxide Alarm."
How is a CO alarm installed and maintained?
Follow the installation instructions found in the manufacturer's use and care booklet that accompanies the product. Proper installation is an important factor in receiving optimal performance. It is important to follow these instructions step by step in their entirety.
CO alarms need to be tested regularly and cleaned as indicated in the manufacturer's use and care booklet. If the unit operates off a battery, test the detector weekly and replace the battery at least once a year.
What to do if the CO alarm sounds:
Immediately operate the reset/silence button and call emergency services (fire department or 911).
Move outside . Check to make sure that everyone in your household is present. Do not re-enter the premises until the emergency services have arrived, the premises have been sufficiently ventilated, and your CO alarm remains in its normal condition.
Pocatello Fire Department, Idaho
408 E. Whitman Ave.
Pocatello, ID 83201