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The original item was published from 12/16/2020 2:52:00 PM to 1/10/2021 12:00:03 AM.

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Posted on: December 16, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Bismarck Fire Department Carbon Monoxide safety tips

Often called the invisible killer, Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely.  A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a long period of time or by a large amount of CO over a short amount of time.  In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of CO. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.  

  • CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. For best protection, interconnect CO alarms throughout the home so that 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 monthly; replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If the CO alarm gives an audible ‘chirp’, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it. If it still ‘chirps’, this could indicate the unit’s end of service life.
  • 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 9-1-1 from a fresh air location and stay there until the Fire Department arrives.
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. 
  • During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for fuel-fired appliances (dryer, furnace, stove, or 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.

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.


For more information visit Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips.


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