What should you do when a CO alarm sounds?
1. Operate the Test/Silence button.
2. Call your emergency services, fire department or 911.
3. Immediately move to fresh air—outdoors or by an open door or window. Do a head count to check that all persons are accounted for. Do not reenter the premises, or move away from the open door or window until the emergency services responder has arrived, the premises have been aired out, and your CO Alarm remains in its normal condition.
4. After following steps 1-3, if your CO Alarm reactivates within a 24-hour period, repeat steps 1-3 and call a qualified appliance technician to investigate for sources of CO from 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.
5. Note any combustion equipment not inspected by the technician, and consult the manufacturers’ instructions, or contact the manufacturers directly, for more information about CO safety and this equipment. Make sure that motor vehicles are not, and have not, been operating in an attached garage or adjacent to the residence. (*Per ANSI/UL 2034)
Disaster Preparedness and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
At the onset of hurricane season, it’s important for consumers to remember the proper safety precautions to take in the event of a power outage, as several dangers – including accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning – arise when electricity is lost.
During power outages, many consumers turn to various sources of alternative power and cooking as a temporary solution. From gas-powered generators to gas grills to wood and charcoal, households look for ways to continue their daily lives during a loss of power. Unfortunately, the incorrect use of many of these products can result in tragic consequences. For example, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that more than 28 people died from accidental CO poisoning during the 2005 hurricane season as a direct result of portable generator use. The following safety tips will help families avoid CO and other dangers associated with power outages:
• Never run a generator indoors or in a poorly ventilated area such as a garage, basement or porch, and use the appropriate-size power cords to carry the electric load.
• Install a minimum of one battery-operated CO alarm (or AC-powered alarm with battery backup) outside each sleeping area, and for maximum protection install at least one CO alarm on each level of the home.
• Ensure that CO alarms have working batteries installed.
• Never burn charcoal or other outdoor cooking appliances indoors or in the garage.