Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

A senior living complex in Randallstown was evacuated on Sunday evening due to dangerously elevated Carbon Monoxide (CO) levels. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon headline during the colder months, which is why The Office of the State Fire Marshal would like to remind residents about CO safety as temperatures continue to drop.

Carbon Monoxide is referred to as the "invisible killer" because it is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as, gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil and methane burn incompletely. Heating and cooking within the home can be a source for dangerous CO. To keep you and your loved ones safe, please follow these guidelines:

  • CO alarms should be installed in a central location, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home - as well as in other locations where required by law, code, or standards.

  • For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for placement and mounting height of CO alarms.

  • Choose a CO alarm that is listed by a qualified testing laboratory.

  • Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to manufacturer's instructions.

  • If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel declare that it is safe to re-enter the home.

  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.

  • During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.

  • A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors, and vent openings.

  • Gas or charcoal grills can also produce CO - only use them outside.

*Information courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association.

Media/Press Relations Contact Information:  410-653-8980;
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