As winter approaches, the DeKalb Fire Department reminds residents to take necessary precautions to avoid the dangers of carbon monoxide, otherwise know as the “silent killer”. According the the National Safety Council, more than 400 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year and another 20,000 are admitted to emergency rooms.
In addition to installing and maintaining carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms, the Fire Department offers these tips to stay safe this winter:
- Have your furnace, water heater, and any other gas burning appliance serviced by a qualified technician every year
- Never use portable fuel burning space heaters inside your home
- Do not use portable generators inside homes, basements, or garages
- Have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year, and make sure your fireplace damper is open before lighting a fire and well after it is extinguished
- Make sure gas appliances are vented properly
- Never use a gas oven to heat your home
- Do not allow your car to idle in the garage
Most importantly, never ignore your carbon monoxide detector. If it sounds, immediately move to fresh air, call 911, and do not reenter the residence until the Fire Department has determined it is safe.
Remember, Daylight Saving Time ends on November 5. Be sure to turn back your clocks one hour and change the batteries in all your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.