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Carbon Monoxide – The Silent Killer

The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and the Commission on Fire Prevention and Control warn that during winter months, Carbon Monoxide (CO) can become a serious safety issue in our homes.  A CO Detector is the best way to protect your family from this potentially deadly gas.  Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is caused from fuel burning appliances.  ”Furnaces, wood stoves, fireplaces, even gas stoves are common causes of Carbon Monoxide in the home”, stated Alan Zygmunt, Public Education Coordinator for the Connecticut Fire Academy, “As CO builds up in the home, it can reach dangerous levels.”   In addition to installing a CO detector, the following tips can help you keep your family safe;

  • Always use portable generators outside and away from the home to prevent exhaust gasses from entering the house.
  • When starting your car in the garage, back it out immediately and leave the garage door open for a time to allow the area to ventilate. Even running your car in the garage for a short time can allow CO to enter your home.
  • If your CO Detector sounds, evacuate the home and call the fire department. They can come to check for the presence of CO and also check your fuel burning appliances for problems.
  • Make sure vents for your dryer, furnace or other appliances are clear of snow and other obstructions. Newer units have vents very close to the ground and can easily get covered during heavy snow.

Following these tips can keep you and your family members safe from this potentially dangerous condition.    Another critical point this time of year is Home heating equipment.  The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is urging the public to use added caution when heating their homes during the winter months, when nearly half (48 percent) of all U.S. home heating equipment fires occur. Home heating equipment is the second-leading cause of U.S. home fires and home fire injuries, and the third-leading cause of home fire deaths and direct property damage.  For more information go to:  https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Put-A-Freeze-on-Winter-Fires

The Connecticut Fire Academy is the teaching arm of the Connecticut Commission on Fire Prevention and Control.  Part of their mission is educating the public in fire and burn prevention.