Normal Fire Department gives tips on avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning

By WEEK Reporter

Normal Fire Department gives tips on avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning

November 13, 2012 Updated Nov 13, 2012 at 2:58 PM CDT

NORMAL, Ill -- The Normal Fire Department would like to remind citizens of the threat that carbon monoxide poses, tips on how to prevent a carbon monoxide incident in their home, and what to do when the CO alarm sounds.

As carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, it is possible that it can kill you before you are aware it is in your home.  At lower levels of exposure, CO causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu.

"It's important, especially this time of the year when everyone has their windows and doors closed up tight, that you have a working CO alarm in your home, and test it on a monthly basis, just as you should with your smoke alarms," said Matt Swaney, Public Information and Public Education Officer.

"If your CO alarm is going off, leave the area, get some frest air, and call the fire department to check it out," Swaney continued.  "Bes sure to let our dispatch center know if anyone is feeling sixk so we can bring the appropriate resources."

The Normal Fire Department gives these recommendations to avoid CO poisoning:

Normal Fire Department recommendations to avoid a CO poisoning incident:
  •          Have your gas appliances checked periodically for proper operation and venting.
  •          Make sure flues, chimneys and vents are clear of debris and in good working order.
  •          Install CO monitors in the home. Check them regularly and make sure they are maintained properly.
  •          Do not use unvented space heaters, gas stoves, charcoal grills or Sterno-type fuels as sources of heat. Do not cook on charcoal grills indoors.
  •          Do not run the car or other gasoline-powered engines in a garage, even with the doors open.   This may cause CO to build to dangerous levels and may allow the gas to enter the home. 
What Should I Do If My Carbon Monoxide Alarm Goes Off?
  •        Evacuate all occupants immediately.
  •        Call 911 and report the alarm, and tell the dispatcher that people are feeling ill.
  •        Do not re-enter the home without the approval of a fire department representative.
  •        Call a qualified professional to repair the source of the CO.

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