In our last blog, we talked about how our fire and rescue volunteers save lives through safety education, as well as through our rescue efforts. As a volunteer, you take part in a variety of safety education programs including health fairs, community days, school visits and more. One important topic we educate the public on is carbon monoxide, or CO, monitoring and poisoning.
Facts about CO
How much do you know about CO?
- Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas.
- It is known as the “silent killer,” because you cannot see it, smell it or taste it, and it’s the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the U.S.
- CO poisoning kills about 500 people each year, not including fire-related deaths.
- Moderate levels of CO can cause permanent neurological damage. High levels can kill in a matter of minutes.
- COleaves the body quickly. Take immediate action such as turning off an appliance, opening windows or leaving the area if you suspect a leak.
- Burning natural gas, oil, kerosene, wood, coal and charcoal produces carbon monoxide.
- Having your heating system inspected regularly can ensure it’s running properly and safely.
- You should never use gasoline-powered engines, fuel-burning camping equipment or charcoal grills inside any enclosed area. And never run fuel-burning heaters in a non-ventilated bedroom while you are sleeping.
- In most cases, people do not know they are being exposed to carbon monoxide until it’s too late.
Protecting Your Home and Family with a CO Detector
The best way to prevent CO poisoning is by using a carbon monoxide detector. Here’s what you should know:
- Install a detector on each level of your home.
- Make sure at least one monitor is near your sleeping area.
- Place one near all gas-burning appliances — ideally within five feet.
- Make sure the monitor is certified by the Underwriters Laboratory.
- Monitors can be battery operated or electric, based on your preference.
What to Do When a Detector Goes Off
If your carbon monoxide detector goes off, immediately do the following:
- Get everyone outside into fresh air and open windows as you exit.
- Check to see if anyone is experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning, such as dizziness, light-headedness, headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath or nausea. If they are, call 911.
- If no one is experiencing symptoms, keep ventilating the home and turn off all appliances that could be emitting high levels of CO.
- Schedule an inspection of all home appliances and heating sources as soon as possible to ensure they are operating safely.
Are you ready to save lives with us? Come volunteer with us and be a life saver through education and rescue efforts. Our winning team has a spot waiting for you. Contact us today.
Are you looking for a change? Here in Prince William County, the volunteer departments provide fire and emergency medical services to the County’s citizens and visitors during weekday evenings, weekends and holidays. Prince William County’s volunteer fire and rescue departments are seeking motivated individuals who have the desire to make a difference and provide an important service to their community. Learn more now.
- Posted by ATW
- On March 13, 2019
- 0 Comments