New Canaan Fire Marshal Issues Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

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As the temperature drops top some of the coldest temps this season it is a good time to ensure that carbon monoxide or ‘CO’ detectors are installed and properly working.

Fire Marshal Fred Baker. Credit: Michael Dinan

The New Canaan Fire Department has responded within the past two weeks and dealt with homes that contained elevated levels of CO. One was from a fire place damper that was closed too early after a fire. Another was from a malfunctioning heating system. In both cases the homeowners were unaware and were alerted by their CO detectors.

CO is created when incomplete combustion occurs from automobiles, heating systems, generators, fireplaces. Following are some tips to help keep you and your family safe from “The Silent Killer”:

  • Have at least one CO detector outside of each sleeping area. One on each floor is optimal. The best/easiest are the devices that plug into a wall outlet. Follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  • CO detectors generally expire after 5 years, depending on manufacturer. Expiration dates may be found on the back of the device. If expired, replace them, immediately.
  • If your detector is part of an alarm system, make sure system is properly serviced by alarm tech each year.
  • Never leave your car running in the attached garage – even with the doors open.
  • In times of heavy snow, make sure low level exhaust vents from high efficiency furnaces and water heaters are not blocked.
  • Never run a generator or other internal combustion engine in an attached garage.
  • Never use charcoal indoors – even in fireplace.

For questions regarding CO, or any other fire safety topics, please contact the Fire Marshal’s office at 203-594-3030. If desired a curtesy home inspection can be arranged.

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