THE "SENSELESS" KILLER
CAN YOU TELL WHAT IT IS?
Scratch and Sniff ...
Every year, nearly 300 people in the United States die from this toxic gas.
Can you tell... can you smell... what gas it is?
You probably couldn't guess the answer from the "scratch and sniff." That's because the poisonous gas that kills nearly 300 people in their homes each year has no smell. What's more, it has no taste and no color.
The gas is carbon monoxide (CO), and it is truly a "senseless" killer.
WHAT IS CARBON MONOXIDE?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced by burning any fuel. Therefore, any fuel-burning appliance in your home is a potential CO source.
When appliances are kept in good working condition, they produce little CO. Improperly operating appliances can produce fatal CO concentrations in your home. Likewise, using charcoal indoors or running a car in a garage can cause CO poisoning.
SYMPTOMS OF CO POISONING
Carbon monoxide poisoning can kill you. The initial symptoms of CO are similar to the flu (but without the fever). They include:
- Irregular breathing
Remember, if you have any of these symptoms, and if you feel better when you go outside your home and the symptoms reappear once you're back inside, you may have CO poisoning.
Sources of and Clues to a Possible Carbon Monoxide Problem
- Room Heater
- Charcoal grill
- Water Heater
- Auto in closed garage
- Rusting or water streaking on vent/chimney
- Loose or missing furnace panel
- Loose or disconnected vent/chimney, connections
- Debris or soot falling from chimney, fireplace, or appliance
- Loose masonry on chimney
- Moisture inside of windows
- Internal appliance damage or malfunctioning components
- Improper burner adjustment
- Hidden blockage or damage in chimneys
What can you do?
Make sure appliances are installed according to manufacturer's instructions and local building codes. Most appliances should be installed by professionals.
Have the heating system (including chimneys and vents) inspected and serviced annually.
Follow manufacturer's directions for safe operation.
Examine vents and chimneys regularly for improper connections, visible rust or stains.
- Notice problems that could indicate improper appliance operation, such as:
- Decreasing hot water supply
- Furnace unable to heat house or runs constantly
- Soot, especially on appliances
- Unfamiliar or burning odor
Install a CO DETECTOR FOR ADDED SAFETY!
MUST MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF UL 2034
WHAT YOU SHOULD NOT DO ...
Never burn charcoal indoors or in a garage.
Never service appliances without proper knowledge, skills and tools.
Never use the gas range or oven for heating.
Never leave a car running in a garage.
Never operate unvented gas-burning appliances in a closed room.
A Carbon Monoxide Detector is NOT a substitute for a SMOKE DETECTOR
IF YOU HEAR AN ALARM--
Check all smoke detectors AND carbon monoxide detectors.
IF YOUR SMOKE DETECTOR ALARMS--
Immediately exit the building and call 9-1-1.
IF YOUR CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR ALARMS--
Open all doors and windows immediately and call a qualified appliance technician.
ONLY IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS, SHOULD YOU CALL 9-1-1:
Dizziness - Fatigue - Nausea - Irregular Breathing - Headache
If you have any additional questions call the Torrance Fire Department at 1-310-618-2973