Andover Health Division
36 Bartlet St.
Andover, MA 01810
Andover Fire Rescue
Chief Michael B. Mansfield
32 North Main St.
Andover, MA 01810
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, Dec. 16, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
*Joint Release* Andover Health Division and Andover Fire Rescue Remind Residents of Carbon Monoxide Safety
ANDOVER — As temperatures drop and winter weather begins to arrive, the Andover Health Division and Andover Fire Rescue are urging residents to follow several carbon monoxide safety tips to prevent tragedies from occurring this season.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, tasteless and poisonous gas produced whenever any fuel is burned, such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal. Other sources of CO include furnaces and water heaters, chimneys, wood stoves, grills, camping stoves, gas ovens and gas snow removal or yard equipment machines.
“Carbon monoxide poisoning is completely preventable and we want to ensure that all residents are taking the necessary steps to protect themselves,” said Thomas Carbone, Andover Director of Public Health. “Don’t become a victim. Ensure your home is equipped with CO detectors and that they work properly.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year, at least 430 people die and approximately 50,000 people visit the emergency room as a result of accidental CO poisoning in the United States.
Exposure to carbon monoxide can produce flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion, fainting, unconsciousness, and in serious cases, can be fatal. If you suspect you have be exposed to CO, get out of the house and call the fire department from a cell phone or a neighbor’s house. If you experience any symptoms associated with CO poisoning, seek medical attention immediately.
“It is imperative that all residents having working carbon monoxide detectors on every level of their homes to protect themselves and their families from this deadly gas,” Fire Chief Michael B. Mansfield said. “If you need assistance or have questions about installing an alarm, please contact the fire department to ensure that devices are correctly installed and working properly.”
Andover Health and Andover Fire Rescue recommend that residents follow these safety procedures outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services:
- Before the heating season every year, have a qualified service technician inspect your appliances.
- Check vent pipes, flues and chimneys for leaks or blockages.
- Always make sure furnace and dryer exhaust vents are clear of snow.
- Use care when shoveling out vehicles, and be sure the tail pipe and undercarriage are free of snow before turning on the engine.
- Don’t leave a vehicle running inside a garage, even if the door is open. Fumes will quickly build up inside a home if the two spaces are connected.
- Never use a charcoal grill, gasoline-powered engines (generators, chain saws, blowers, weed trimmers, mowers, or snow blowers) indoors or near doors or windows. Place grills and generators outside, facing away from doors, windows and vents.
- Do not use a gas oven to heat your home.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home, except unfinished basements or attics. Do not place a CO alarm in a garage, furnace room, or near the stove or fireplace.
- Locate CO alarms near bedrooms so family members will wake up if the alarm goes off at night. Alarms should be kept away from open windows or doors, excessively hot, cold or damp areas and “dead-air spaces,” such as corners of rooms and peaks of ceilings.
- To ensure that carbon monoxide alarms are functioning properly, they should be replaced every five to seven years according to directions. After a prolonged power outage, back-up batteries should be checked.
For more information about carbon monoxide poisoning, visit the Department of Fire Services website.