Fire Chief Safety Tip of the Month from Chief Erik Vierheilig
Beginning this month, I will bring you monthly safety tips as they relate to the season. This month we feature carbon monoxide safety tips. The USRFD responds to many carbon monoxide calls throughout the year, but the call volume increases in the winter months. Although the popularity of carbon monoxide (CO) alarms has been growing in recent years, it cannot be assumed that everyone is familiar with the hazards of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home.
Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide is an 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.
Did you know?…
The dangers of CO exposure depend on a number of variables, including the victim’s health and activity level. Infants, pregnant women, and people with physical conditions that limit their body’s ability to use oxygen (i.e. emphysema, asthma, heart disease) can be more severely affected by lower concentrations of CO than healthy adults would be. A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time.
Its extremely important to stress the importance of not only installing carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home but to also ensure that they are operational and tested monthly. If a detector activates, call 9-1-1 immediately and evacuate the home to await the arrival of the fire department to check the home with our meters.
Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com . Thank you and be safe.