WAUSEON — Wauseon Fire Department reminds residents to install and maintain carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in their homes to avoid the risk of CO poisoning. Carbon monoxide alarms inside your home provide an early warning of the presence of deadly carbon monoxide gas.

According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CO alarms should be installed and maintained in a central location outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations, as required by laws, codes, or standards. Install CO alarms that meet the current safety standards. CPSC recommends that consumers look for UL or CSA listings on the packaging. Follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one interconnected CO alarm sounds, they all sound.

“Some homes in Wauseon may not have functioning carbon monoxide alarms,” said Rick Sluder, fire chief of the Wauseon Fire Department. “We want all residents to understand the requirements for CO alarms.” CO alarms can mean the difference between life and death.

“Often called the invisible killer, CO is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels burn incompletely,” noted Sluder. “In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel can be sources of CO. Also, anything that has an engine, such as vehicles running in an attached garage, or portable generators running inside a home, shed, attached garage or too close to a home also can produce dangerous levels of CO. Burning charcoal in fireplaces or barbecue grills inside a home or in semi-enclosed areas also car result in lethal carbon monoxide levels.”

The Wauseon Fire Department, NFPA and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) offer the following tips for making sure the CO alarms in your home are maintained and working properly:

• install and maintain CO alarms in a central location outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations, as required by laws, codes, or standards.

• follow the directions for smoke alarm installation.

• test CO alarms once a month, and replace them if they fail to respond correctly when tested.

• replace the CO alarm according to manufacturer’s instructions or when the end-of-life signal sounds.

• know the difference between the sound of the CO alarm and the smoke alarm, and each alarm’s low-battery signals. If the audible low-battery signal sounds, replace the batteries, or replace the device.

• CO alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms, and vice versa. Know the difference.

Residents with questions and/or concerns about CO alarm requirements may contact their local fire department. They also can visit NFPA’s website at www.nfpa.org/CO for more information.

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