During Fire Prevention Week Oct. 3-9, and in anticipation of cooler weather, the Sun Prairie Fire & Rescue would like to remind everyone that now is a good time to check your Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors.
Any home appliance or equipment that burns natural gas, oil, coal, charcoal, propane or wood can produce carbon monoxide. These include: Furnaces, boilers, water heaters, fireplaces; ovens and ranges; wood burning stoves, space heaters, charcoal and propane grills, back-up generators, automobiles; and gas-powered lawn mowers
When testing a CO detector (also known as CO alarms), press and hold the “Test” button on the detector for a few seconds. When loud beeping indicates the detector is working correctly, release the button. Change the batteries if the unit fails the test.
Replace the CO detector if new batteries don’t make a difference and the alarm still fails when tested.
A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time.
In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 80,100 non-fire CO incidents in which carbon monoxide was found, or an average of nine calls per hour.
Follow these National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) tips relating to CO safety:
• CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
• Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
• Choose a CO alarm that is listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
• Have fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys inspected by a professional every year before cold weather sets in. When using a fireplace, open the flue for adequate ventilation. Never use your oven to heat your home.
• Call your local fire department’s non-emergency number to find out what number to call if the CO alarm sounds.
• Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
• If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it. If it still sounds, call the fire department.
• If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel declare that it is safe to re-enter the home.
• During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.