What do I do if my carbon monoxide detector goes off?
If someone feels nauseous, dizzy, unusually tired, or otherwise 'out of it,' they may be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. It is important that they get fresh air and immediate medical attention. If someone is sick, make sure you tell the dispatcher so that enough ambulances are sent along with fire trucks.
Get out of the house and call 9-1-1. Do not open doors and windows UNLESS someone is feeling ill or cannot get out. By leaving the windows shut, we can get a reading with our detector and maybe find the source. This way we can also find out if it was a false alarm, or if there really is a problem in your house. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, and can only be detected with a special meter. It replaces oxygen in your blood and can kill you by starving your body of oxygen.
Do not put carbon monoxide detectors near stoves, furnaces, fire places, or garages. These will produce some carbon monoxide which may build up in the detector over time, producing a false alarm. We recommend getting detectors with a digital reading and placing them in or near bedrooms.
By having your heating system serviced regularly, you can prevent carbon monoxide problems. Also, remember that anything that runs off of gas or propane will produce carbon monoxide. This includes natural gas clothes dryers and propane fueled refrigerators. You must have these appliances properly ventilated. Poorly ventilated fireplaces and wood stoves can cause a buildup of carbon monoxide, and it is even possible for slowly burning food and dirt in an electric oven to produce some CO.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 February 2009 13:34