Every home should have a carbon monoxide alarm. That’s because most of us have fuel-powered devices in or near our homes – including our cars, heating appliances, portable generators, and water heaters.
And if any of those machines are left on for long periods of time or if they are running improperly, the colorless and odorless carbon monoxide gas can leak into your living space and cause serious health damage, even death.
Here’s everything you need to know about setting up a carbon monoxide alarm and the proper storage of gasoline.
Install Carbon Monoxide Alarms
- Make sure your home has a carbon monoxide alarm. If you don’t have one, please go out and get one.
- As with smoke alarms, make sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas, and keep them at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.
- You won’t know that you have a carbon monoxide leak without a working alarm. So test alarms regularly and replace them every five to seven years depending on the manufacturer’s label.
- For the best protection, have carbon monoxide alarms that are interconnected throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Carbon monoxide alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms, and vice versa. Combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are available.
Understand How Carbon Monoxide Can Be Harmful
- Don’t use a grill, generator or camping stove inside your home, garage or near a window.
- If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Don’t leave a car, SUV or motorcycle engine running inside a garage, even if the doors are open.
- Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home.
- On the outside of your home, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.
- Carbon monoxide can accumulate in or around your motorboat, so install an alarm on your boat.
Leave the House If the Alarm Sounds
- If the alarm goes off, immediately go outdoors or to an open window or door for some fresh air. Make sure that everyone inside your home is safe.
- Call 911 or the fire department. Stay outside or by an open window until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.
Store Gasoline Properly
- If using gasoline-powered devices, store gasoline in a locked location where children cannot access it. Keep only small quantities in an approved container that has child safety features.
- Keep gasoline away from any source of heat, spark or flame. Even common household appliances such as water heaters and clothes dryers can start a gasoline fire. Be sure to store your gasoline away from anything that could ignite it.
- Store gasoline in a well-ventilated area outside your vehicle and living space. The safest place to store the container is in a detached garage or shed.
- Never mix gasoline with fire. There is no safe way to start a fire with gasoline.
(Content from www.safekids.org)
(Image from econoair.com)