Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. It robs our blood of the oxygen our heart and brain need to work properly. Early symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness and nausea. If you remain continually exposed, CO poisoning causes unconsciousness, brain damage, and death. Carbon monoxide detectors are designed to sound an alarm based upon the level of CO and the period of time it has been detected.
What to do if your CO detector goes into alarm:
Locate your CO detector; make sure that the detector is sounding in "alarm" for a CO reading.
If the alarm is due to a CO reading, or you are feeling any of the symptoms related to CO poisoning, evacuate your home immediately and call 9-1-1.
Make sure you inform the 9-1-1 operator of the following:
The type of detector (CO detector in this case)
Whether everyone is out of the house
Whether you feel any symptoms
Wait outside or at a neighbors house for emergency vehicles to arrive. Do NOT go back inside for any reason until you have been told that your house is safe.
Most carbon monoxide accidents are preventable. Some basic causes of CO poisoning include:
Using a gas oven to heat a room
Running a car inside an enclosed space
Running a car for a prolonged period of time in an open garage
Defective gas or oil furnaces and water heaters
Cracked chimney flues
Closing the fireplace damper before the fire is completely out