Autumn in New England comes with many pleasant sights but this year it brings a snowy Nor’easter that knocked out power to more than 3 million homes and businesses across the Northeast on Saturday. When the cold arrives each year and especially during power outages, there also comes a hidden danger. Often called the silent killer, as described in our recent news alert, carbon monoxide, or “CO” is a colorless, odorless gas that can be fatal in high concentrations. CO is produced by the burning of oil, natural gas, propane, wood, coal, kerosene and wood pellets—so as we enter the home heating season, it’s something we all need to be aware of.
How to Protect Your Family from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
The best way to protect your family is with a carbon monoxide detector. In fact did you know that there is now a state law in Massachusetts that requires homeowners to install CO detectors on every level of a dwelling, and be within 10 feet of any bedroom? There are several devices on the market that will comply with the requirement but the best way to help protect your family is to have your CO detectors integrated into your monitored home security system.
Here are some other ways to keep your family safe:
- Be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning. If you experience unexplained nausea, headaches, sleepiness, confusion or dizziness . . . these could be due to CO poisoning. Get outdoors into fresh air immediately.
- Never, ever use “outdoor” equipment indoors. Barbecue grills, hibachis, and camp stoves, are meant to be used outdoors for a reason. Indoors in this case also means even inside tents or campers. The same goes for any thing other than battery-operated lanterns. Never leave your vehicle idling inside the garage, and don’t use gas ranges or stoves as a source of heat.
- Be extra cautious when using a generator during power outages. If you operate a portable generator, do so outdoors in a clean, dry location. Aim its exhaust away from windows or enclosed areas.
You cannot always be in all places at all times to protect your home and family, but a quality alarm monitoring service can be there 24/7 to help keep them safe from the dangers you can see—and even the ones you cannot.