If you have a carbon monoxide alarm in your home, you’re on the way to providing superior safety for your family. However, do you know how to maintain your alarm, and practice CO safety in your space?
“We all have busy lives and other priorities, so it’s easy to take life-saving measures like installing CO alarms for granted once they’ve been implemented,” says Tarsila Wey, director of marketing for First Alert, a leader in residential fire and CO detection devices.
In addition to replacing CO alarms as they reach expiration, Wey recommends the following tips and tools for keeping yourself and loved ones safer from the dangers of carbon monoxide:
Properly install alarms. CO alarms are the only way to detect this poisonous gas. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends installing alarms on every level of the home and near each sleeping area for maximum protection. Also make sure the alarms are installed at least 15 feet away from sources of CO to reduce the possibility of nuisance alarms. It is also important to test alarm monthly and change batteries every six months, unless the alarm is powered by a sealed, 10-year battery.
Test alarms regularly. All First Alert alarms are equipped with a test/silence button for easy testing.
Never use generators indoors. In the case of a power outage, portable electric generators must be used outside only (at least 15 feet from your home). Never use them inside the home, in a garage or in any confined area that can allow CO to collect. And, be careful to follow operating instructions closely. Also, refrain from using charcoal grills, camp stoves and other similar devices indoors.
Be mindful of the garage. Never leave a vehicle running inside an attached garage, even if the door is open, it is hazardous, as CO can leak into the home.
Have fuel-burning appliances inspected regularly. Arrange for a professional inspection of all fuel-burning appliances (such as furnaces, stoves, fireplaces, clothes dryers, water heaters and space heaters) annually.
Call 911. If an alarm sounds, leave the home immediately and move to fresh air. Then call 911 and do not go back into the home until the home is inspected and cleared.