Canton Fire Chief Reminds Residents of Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

Canton Fire Department
Chief Charles E. Doody
99 Revere St.
Canton, MA 02021

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018

Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Phone: 781-428-3299
Email: [email protected]

Canton Fire Chief Reminds Residents of Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

CANTON – With temperatures expected to drop below freezing in the coming weeks and months, Chief Charles Doody is reminding Canton residents to follow important carbon monoxide safety tips.

Known also as the “invisible killer,” 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.

“If your CO detectors go off, do not stay inside the house,” Chief Doody said. “Leave the house immediately and call 911 from outside or from a neighbor’s house. Opening windows and doors can be helpful, but in the event of a leak the best thing to do is go outside to the fresh air.”

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.

The Canton Fire Department recommends 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 or 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 within 10 feet of bedrooms. Do not place a CO alarm in a garage or near the stove or fireplace. Always install an alarm according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • 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.