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Fire and Rescue

Posted on: December 8, 2017

Carbon Monoxide Safety Precautions

For Additional Information:
Laura Rinehart, Public Information Officer
Laura.Rinehart@loudoun.gov or 571-233-1649
December 8, 2017

For Immediate Release:
Carbon Monoxide Safety Precautions

Are you and your family protected against Carbon Monoxide emergencies in your home? Carbon monoxide (CO), also referred to as the “Silent Killer”, often goes undetected in homes as it is invisible, odorless, and tasteless. The easiest way to protect yourself is to follow safe heating practices and install carbon monoxide alarms in your home.  Per the 2015 Virginia International Residential Code, CO alarms should be installed in any dwelling in which fuel-fired appliances are installed and/or have attached garages with an opening into the home. To keep your family safe from Carbon Monoxide poisoning follow these helpful tips:

  • Install CO alarms outside of each sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of sleeping areas. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
  • Select a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Test the alarms once a month and replace units as recommended.
  • If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to fresh air and call 9-1-1.
  • Have fireplaces and heating equipment serviced annually.
  • Ensure dampers for fireplaces and fuel burning stoves are open until the fire is completely extinguished.
  • During and after a snowstorm, clear dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace vents of snow build-up.
  • Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open.
  • Ensure gas generators are located in a well-ventilated area outside the home away from doors or windows.

Occupants of homes should be aware of the warning signs of CO exposure and immediately call 9-1-1 for help. Possible signs of CO exposure often mimic the flu and can include any of the following:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

For additional information about carbon monoxide and other safety topics visit www.loudoun.gov/firemarshal or contact Lisa Braun, Public Education Manager, at 571-258-3222.

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