Summit Fire warns residents to check carbon monoxide alarms ahead of winter
Is your carbon monoxide detector working properly?
With cooler temperatures returning to the high country, Summit Fire and EMS is urging residents around the area to test their carbon-monoxide detectors and to replace the batteries before firing up their furnaces this fall.
“A carbon-monoxide detector is an inexpensive, practical way of ensuring that you’re not being exposed to this lethal gas,” said Summit Fire Chief Jeff Berino. “In addition to smoke detectors, every residence should have at least one CO detector, preferably near potential sources of carbon monoxide, such as a gas furnace.”
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas that can build up in homes with faulty or improperly vented heating devices — including furnaces and wood-burning stoves — and can be dangerous to humans and pets. Carbon monoxide poisoning can result in one or more of these symptoms: chest tightness or shortness of breath, tiredness, nausea, confusion, headaches or dizziness. In severe cases, carbon monoxide poisoning can also lead to losing consciousness and death.
When carbon monoxide alarms beep intermittently, it’s time to replace the batteries, according to the fire district. Residents should press the reset button after replacing the batteries if the beeps continue. Alarms manufactured in recent years often will beep when they reach the end of their designed life, about seven years, even if the batteries are replaced.
If the alarm continuously beeps, or keeps beeping after replacing batteries, there may be carbon monoxide present. In that case, residents should get everyone out of the house and call 911.
“We’ve had some tragedies in Colorado because of carbon monoxide poisoning,” Berino said. “A working CO detector is a critical safety device for every home to make sure you’re not being expose to this silent killer.”
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