Nov. 1-7 is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week

Carbon monoxide alarms _ Mike Duran - FOX21 News_321861

STATEWIDE– This week, Nov. 1 through Nov. 7, is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, an annual educational initiative developed by Kidde, a leading manufacturer of residential smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers, and safety accessories.

CO is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that kills at least 430 people in the U.S. and sends approximately 50,000 people nationwide to the hospital annually. With cooler temperatures settling in around much of the country, the observance is a good reminder for people to take action to prevent unintentional CO poisoning, as the risk of unintentional CO poisoning increases when temperatures drop, causing home heating systems run for longer than usual.

Many are spending more time at home in light of the COVID-19 pandemic as well, making CO awareness critical.

Learn the signs of CO poisoning. 

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning in people often mirror those of the common flu and include things like headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.

In pets, initial symptoms include nausea/vomiting, dizziness, or labored breathing, among others.

Take steps to prevent CO poisoning in your home.

  • Regularly inspect appliances. CO sources include natural gas, kerosene, propane, coal and gasoline. Have appliances checked regularly, such as stoves, furnaces, and washer-dryers, to ensure they’re properly installed and not malfunctioning.
  • Keep chimneys clear of animal nests, leaves and residue to ensure proper venting. Have all fireplaces cleaned and inspected annually.
  • Never leave your car motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage – even if it’s cold outside.
  • Only use grills and generators outside of your home, including attached garages (even if the garage door is open). Place grills at least 10 feet away from your home and generators at least 20 feet away from your home to help keep CO from entering your living spaces.

Install CO alarms throughout the home. 

CO can travel anywhere in the home – even through drywall – so most often, one alarm is not enough. It’s best to install CO alarms throughout the entire home with at least one on every level, and consider including in living areas, bedrooms and hallways outside sleeping areas.

If your alarm sounds or if you suspect CO in your home, evacuate your home immediately and call 911.

Replace your CO alarms every 7-10 years. 

While testing alarms once a week and ensuring batteries are replaced are critical, replacing every alarm at a minimum of 7-10 years is paramount. If you cannot remember the date you installed your alarms, check the manufacturing date – commonly located on the back of the alarm – and add 7-10 years, depending on the model.

Please check your manufacturer user guide.

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