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Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Facts, Figures & General Information
Carbon monoxide is known as the “Silent Killer” because it is an odorless and colorless gas created by the incomplete combustion of fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil and methane. Potential sources of carbon monoxide (CO) in your home are heating and cooking appliances that burn various fuels or vehicles or generators running in an attached garage.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides these facts and figures:
  • The dangers of CO exposure depend on a number of variables, including the victim’s health and activity level. Infants, pregnant women and people with physical conditions that limit their body’s ability to use oxygen (i.e. emphysema, asthma, heart disease) can be more severely affected by lower concentrations of CO than healthy adults would be.
  • A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time.
  • In 2005, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 61,100 non-fire CO incidents in which carbon monoxide was found, or an average of seven such calls per hour. The number of incidents increased 18 percent from 51,700 incidents reported in 2003. This increase is most likely because of the increased use of CO detectors, which alert people to the presence of CO.”

Safety Tips (a partial list)
  • CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area, on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes 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.
  • Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Call your local fire department’s non-emergency number to find out what number to call if the CO alarm sounds.
  • 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 arrive.
Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips
NFPA Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips 
For more safety tips and other information about this topic and many others visit the National Fire Protection Association.

"Non-Fire Carbon Monoxide Incidents Reported in 2005 ," by Jennifer Flynn, June 2007.

NFPA does not test, label or approve any products.

10416 Watterson Trail   |   Jeffersontown, KY 40299   |   Ph: (502) 267-8333   |   Fx: (502) 267-0547
10416 Watterson Trail   |   Jeffersontown, KY 40299   |   Ph: (502) 267-8333   |   Fx: (502) 267-0547