City of New Castle,Indiana

Carbon Monoxide

 Carbon Monoxide / Poisoning / Alarms

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, colorless, odorless, tasteless, gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane burn incompletely.  Any fuel-burning appliance in your home is a potential CO source. When appliances are kept in good working condition, they produce little CO. Improperly operating appliances can produce fatal CO concentrations. Likewise, using charcoal indoors, running a car or generator in a closed garage can also produce dangerous levels of CO.
 Effects of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Exposure
CO replaces oxygen in the bloodstream, which leads to suffocation.

x      Mild Exposure - Mild effects include symptoms similar to flu such as headache, nausea and vomiting (without the fever).

x      Medium Exposure - More severe symptoms include difficulty breathing, severe headache, drowsiness, confusion and an increased heart rate.

x     Extreme Exposure- Extreme symptoms can cause unconsciousness, convulsions, cardio respiratory failure, and death.

If you have any of these symptoms, and if you feel better when you go outside your home and symptoms reappear once you're back inside, you may have CO poisoning.

 CO Alarms Safety Checklist

x    Purchase only alarms listed by a qualified independent testing laboratory meeting the requirements of IAS/CAS 6.19 or UL 2034. Install, test, and maintain CO alarms as specified by the manufacturer's instructions.

x    The CO alarms should be located in the immediate vicinity of the sleeping area (not to exceed 10 ft. in any direction from any bedroom door) and on each level of a dwelling unit including finished basements and cellars.  Do not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. (Check manufacturer's requirements for installation instructions.) The types of carbon monoxide detectors are:

·    Battery operated

·    Plug in with battery back up

·    Hard wired with battery back up

·    Low voltage or wireless

x    Make sure CO and Smoke alarms are tested regularly. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and CO alarms

x    Have an escape plan for emergencies and practice the plan with all members of the dwelling (household) regularly, at least twice a year.

x    Replace the battery per the manufacturer's instructions. The New Castle Fire Department recommends twice a year when you change your clocks.

x      Call 9-1-1 if your CO alarm sounds.

 What Precautions Can You Take?

x  Make sure appliances are installed by professionals or according to the manufacturer's instructions and local building codes.

x   Have your heating system (including chimneys and vents) inspected and serviced annually.

x   Follow manufacturers directions for safe operation.

x   Examine vents and chimneys regularly for improper connections, visible rust or stains.

x   Install a carbon monoxide detector for added safety.

x   Look for problems that could indicate improper appliance operation, such as:

-    Decreasing hot water supply.

   Inability of furnace to heat house or runs constantly.

  Sooting, especially on appliances.

-   Unfamiliar or burning odor.