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Avoid the silent killer – Fire District reminds residents about danger of carbon monoxide as cold season approaches


72524_10151226935751546_665793042_a-150x150-5518436-7040838TRUCKEE MEADOWS FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT NEWS RELEASE – The Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD) reminds residents to take precautions against the dangers of carbon monoxide in homes. 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 can also be sources of carbon monoxide.

“A person can be poisoned by a small amount of carbon monoxide over a longer period of time or by a large amount of carbon monoxide over a shorter amount of time,” said TMFPD Fire Marshal Amy Ray. “It’s a good idea to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home to detect a problem before it becomes harmful to the health of your family.”

One way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in homes is to have fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys inspected by a professional every year before cold weather sets in. When using a fireplace, open the flue for adequate ventilation. Never use your oven to heat your home.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, some basic tips to use when it comes to Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors include the following:

– CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.

– Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.

– Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.

– Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

– If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it. If it still sounds, call the fire department.

– If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel arrive.

– If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engines or motors 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.

– A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.

– Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO and should only be used outside.

There are a variety of carbon monoxide detectors available on the market in the three main types: battery-operated, plug-in and wired. The lifespan varies from model to model. Earlier designs had a lifespan of two years, while newer models have a lifespan of up to seven years. It is essential to check with the manufacturer for the lifespan of your individual model.

For more information, contact the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District’s Fire Prevention Division at 775-326-6000.

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