House fires and carbon monoxide poisoning are 2 possible dangers that could be facing your home. Learn some of the warning signs and how to protect your family from these potential dangers in your home.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide, or CO, is an odorless, colorless gas that causes Carbon Monoxide Poisoning which can cause sudden illness and death.

What are the symptoms of CO?

Most Common Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Dizzyiness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chest Pain
  • Confusion

High Levels of CO Symptoms

  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Death

People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die without ever experiencing symptoms

diagram detailing how carbon monoxide poisoning worksHow does CO poisoning work?

Red blood cells pick up CO faster then they pick up oxygen. If there is alot of CO in the air, the body will begin to replace to oxygen in the blood with CO. This can block Oxygen from getting into the body and can potentially damage tissues and result in death.

Why should I be concerned about CO?

CO is a gas that can build up to dangerous concentrations indoors when fuel-burning devices are not properly vented, operated, or maintained. Because it has no odor, color, or taste, CO cannot be detected by our senses. It is estimated that unintentional CO exposure accounts for an estimated 500 deaths in the United States each year. In addition, the CDC estimates that 15000 people each year are examined or treated in emergency rooms for non-fire related CO poisoning. Breathed over long periods of time, low concentrations of CO may contribute to other illnesses.

How can I prevent CO poisoning from my home appliances?

  • Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician.
  • Do no use portable flameless chemical heaters (catalytic) indoors. Although these heaters don’t have a flame, they burn gas and can cause CO to build up inside your home, cabin, or camper.
  • Install a battery operated CO detector in your home and check or replace your battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall.
  • Never idle a car in the garage. Fumes can build up very quickly in the garage and living area of your home.

What to do if you experience symptoms that you think could be from CO poisoning?

  • Get fresh air immediately.
  • Open doors and windows
  • Turn off all combustion appliances and leave the house.
  • Go to an emergency room, and tell the doctor you suspect CO poisoning.
  • Hire a qualified technician to determine where the CO is coming from and make sure the problem is solved.

When was the last time you had your fuse panel checked?

Fire-hazard-electrical-panelA bird had decided to make a nest in this electrical panel we found at a customer’s house. This homeowner was lucky. One tiny spark and a devastating fire could have been started.

 

Recent News

house engulfed in flames after a fire started as a result of an overloaded extension cord

5 killed in house fire caused by overloaded extensions cord.

Smoke alarms save lives, and the way you install and maintain them can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency. Read through our installation and maintenance guide for tips on how to make sure your smoke alarms are ready when you need them.

recommended placement drawing for smoke alarms     location recommendations for smoke alarms

 

 

  • Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom and on every floor.
  • If at all possible, smoke alarms should be installed in the center of the ceiling.

 

finger pressing the test button on a smoke alarm    batteries being changed on smoke alarm

  • Smoke alarms should be tested every month by pressing the test button
  • Smoke alarm batteries should be replaced at least once a year. If the alarm “chirps” or “beeps” to indicate low batteries, they should be replaced immediately.

 

FEMA message to change your smoke alarm every 10 years    someone vacuuming around a smoke alarm

 

  • Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
  • Occasionally vacuum or lightly dust the smoke alarm to remove dust and cobwebs.

 

Installation Tips

  • Smoke Alarms should be installed:
    • In every bedroom
    • Outside each sleeping area
    • On every level of the home
  • For the best protection, smoke alarms should be interconnected, so that they all sound if one sounds. Manufacturers are now producing battery operated alarms that are interconnected by wireless technology.
  • Combination smoke alarms that include both ionization and photoelectric alarms offer the best protection.
    • An ionization alarm is more responsive to flames.
    • photoelectric alarm is more responsive to a smoldering fire.
  • Hardwired smoke alarms with battery backups are considered to be more reliable than those operated solely by batteries.
  • Purchase smoke alarms from a reputable retailer that you trust.
  • Choose alarms that bear the label of a nationally-recognized testing laboratory.
  • Install smoke alarms at least 10 feet from cooking appliances to reduce the possibility of nuisance alarms.
    • Alarms this close to cooking appliances should also have a hush feature.
  • If possible, alarms should be mounted in the center of a ceiling
  • If mounted on a wall, they should be located 6 to 12 inches below the ceiling.
  • Avoid locating alarms near:
    • bathrooms
    • heating appliances
    • windows
    • ceiling fans

Maintenance tips:

  • Smoke alarms should be tested once a month by pressing the TEST button.
  • Smoke alarm batteries should be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, at least once a year.
  • If an alarm “chirps” or “beeps” to indicate low batteries, they should be replaced immediately.
  • Occasionally dust or lightly vacuum the exterior of the alarm to remove dust and cobwebs.
  • Smoke alarms should be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, at least every ten years.
  • Never paint over a smoke alarm.