We should always be concerned with carbon monoxide. Yet with the cold weather upon us, I thought that this information was a good reminder!
In 2006, the Illinois General Assembly passed a new law which requires the placement of Carbon Monoxide Detectors in residences. Public Act 94-741 mandates that every dwelling unit in Illinois must be equipped with at least one carbon monoxide alarm within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping purposes.
Even though it is now a law to have carbon monoxide detectors in your home, it cannot be assumed that everyone is familiar with the hazards of carbon monoxide poisoning. Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of carbon monoxide. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
CO enters the body through breathing. CO poisoning can be confused with flu symptoms, food poisoning and other illnesses. Some symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, light headedness or headaches. High levels of CO can be fatal, causing death within minutes.
Have fuel-burning heating equipment (fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters, wood and coal stoves, space or portable heaters) and chimneys inspected by a professional every year before cold weather sets in.
Safety tips outside the home
• If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle, generator, or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
If your CO alarm sounds:
• Immediately move to a fresh air location and call 911 for help. Remain at the fresh air location until emergency personnel say it is OK.
• If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries or other trouble indicators.
Happy Holidays to you and yours from the Naperville Fire Department!