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Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, and toxic gas and is toxic to both pets and humans. Because it is impossible to see, taste, or smell the toxic fumes, CO can kill you before you are aware it is in your home. Low levels of Carbon Monoxide will cause symptoms that mimic the flu. Usually, you will experience:
According to the Center for Disease Control, carbon monoxide is the most common cause of poisoning death in the United States. Unintentional CO exposure accounts for an estimated 15,000 emergency department visits and 500 unintentional deaths in the United States each year.
If you suspect that you have symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, get fresh air immediately....don’t wait! Do not try to stay in your home for a long amount of time without getting fresh air first. At higher levels, carbon monoxide can lead to a loss of consciousness, reduce brain function, or you may lapse into a coma and even death.
Secondly, call 911 or your local emergency number. Carbon monoxide poisoning is serious and you will need medical attention immediately.
Carbon monoxide (CO) alarms are designed to alarm before potentially life-threatening levels of carbon monoxide are reached.
The safety standards for CO alarms have been continually improved and currently marketed CO alarms are not as susceptible to nuisance alarms as earlier models.
Follow the steps for proper installation:
If you have any questions or concerns about carbon monoxide detector placement, please call Fire Administration at 757-220-6220.
Never ignore an alarming Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarm! It is warning you of a potentially deadly hazard.
If the alarm signal sounds do not try to find the source of the CO:
If authorities allow you to return to your home, and your alarm reactivates within a 24 hour period, repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 and call a qualified appliance technician to investigate for sources of CO from all fuel-burning equipment and appliances, and inspect for proper operation of this equipment. If problems are identified during this inspection, have the equipment serviced immediately.
The devices retail for $15 to $60 USD and are widely available. They can either be battery-operated or AC powered (with or without a battery backup). Battery lifetimes have been increasing as the technology has developed and certain battery-powered devices now advertise a battery lifetime of over 6 years.
They can be purchased at your local hardware store and at most large department stores. They can be purchased online as well. It is up to the homeowner as to what model suits their lifestyle.