Do You Have a Carbon Monoxide Alarm in Your Home?

COdetectorCarbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can happen at any time of the year, but the danger is greatest during the winter months when furnaces and other heating units are used more frequently.

It is the number one cause of poisoning deaths in the United Sates and is called the invisible killer, because you cannot see or smell it. This poisonous gas can come from a variety of sources and quickly incapacitate and kill its victims.

Since CO is colorless, tasteless and odorless (unlike smoke from a fire), detection and prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning in a home environment is impossible without a warning device, such as a carbon monoxide detector.  While about 95 percent of U.S. homes report having at least one working smoke alarm, only 42 percent report having a working CO alarm. CO alarms can alert you and your family to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide inside your home before it is too late.

Proper placement of a CO detector is important. If you are installing only one in your home, it is recommended that you place it near the bedrooms, where it can wake you if you are asleep. Like smoke detectors, the batteries in CO detectors should be checked annually and they should be tested every month.

If your detector goes off, immediately leave your home and get fresh air. Call 911 before re-entering your home.