RFD offers tips to protect against carbon monoxide

November 23, 2013 • Local News

The Roswell Fire Department asks citizens to check and make sure their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order and the batteries are fresh.

Nearly 3,000 people die annually in home fires in the United States, most in homes that do not have a working smoke alarm.

The [auth] RFD, in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration, announces the local Install, Inspect, Protect Campaign, which encourages people to install smoke alarms if they do not have them; perform routine maintenance on those already in the home; create fire escape plans and practice them.

RFD encourages people to complete a safety walk-though of their homes. Windows, particularly in bedrooms, should be in good working order, which would allow exits if doors are blocked.

Homes also need carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, colorless, odorless gas. The first indication of the presence of carbon monoxide is when a person begins to exhibit signs and symptoms.

Symptoms include fatigue in healthy people and chest pain in people with pre-existing heart conditions, impaired vision and coordination, headaches, dizziness, confusion, and nausea. Carbon monoxide exposure can cause flu-like symptoms that clear up after leaving home. Exposure can also prove fatal at very high concentrations.

Carbon monoxide detectors are available at most local hardware and department stores.

According to Fire Chief Chad Hamill, people should not use ovens or stoves as heat sources, which also increases the risk of exposure to carbon monoxide.

Kerosene or butane space heaters also increase the risk of carbon monoxide.

In addition, avoid using electrical space heaters. If used, don’t put them on extension cords which can create a hazard for electrical fires.

If you are not in the room, turn the heater off. Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from any flammable items, such as clothing, curtains, furniture. Be sure follow to all safety instructions that come with the heater.

Check all electrical cords. “Make sure all cords are in good condition, not frayed or do not have any exposed wires,” Deputy Fire Chief Devin Graham said.

For more information concerning smoke alarm installation and the hazards of carbon monoxide, please contact the RFD at (575) 624-6800.

“We’re welcome to phone calls to get the word out,” Graham added.

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