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Protect Yourself From Carbon Monoxide

Protect Yourself & Your Family From Carbon Monoxide

The Cincinnati Fire Department (CFD) is warning citizens about the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO). Often called the "silent killer," CO is produced any time a fuel is burned.

Potential sources include gas or oil furnaces, water heaters, space heaters, clothes dryers, barbecue grills, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, gas ovens, generators, and car exhaust fumes. When these appliances malfunction or are used improperly, CO poisoning may occur.

CO is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; CO poisoning causes more than 400 deaths and 20,000 emergency department visits in the U.S. annually.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that nearly 89 percent of reported non-fire CO incidents take place at home. Having a working carbon monoxide alarm is the only safe way to detect this poisonous gas, so now is the time to install CO alarms or make sure your current alarms are updated.

While CO poisoning happens year-round, more incidents occur during colder months, when families use fuel-burning appliances like a gas-powered furnace, fireplace, or propane heater to stay warm.  Just like you can’t predict a fire in your home, you also can’t predict when a carbon monoxide leak will happen.

Take steps to protect your family from this odorless, tasteless, invisible gas by following the suggestions below:

  • Properly equip your home with carbon monoxide alarms on every level and in sleeping areas.
  • Every year have your home’s heating system, vents, chimney and flue inspected by a qualified technician.
  • Regularly examine vents and chimneys for improper connections, visible rust and stains.
  • Install and operate appliances according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Only purchase appliances that have been approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as the Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Never use a gas range/stove to heat your home.
  • Never leave your car idling in a closed garage or use fuel-powered appliances or tools like generators in enclosed, attached areas such as garages or porches.

Each year, members of the Cincinnati Fire Department see firsthand the devastation CO poisoning has on families, and we know the importance of doing all we can to prevent these senseless tragedies.  The Cincinnati Fire Department is encouraging homeowners to act now by taking the above safety precautions.

If you are need of a CO alarm, please visit a Cincinnati Fire Station.