Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Winter Safety & Security

Protect yourself and your family from carbon monoxide with carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas and it can become a silent killer very quickly. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, weakness, and confusion. Severe cases can result in serious injury or death. This is why carbon monoxide detectors are so important. In winter, the cold temperatures, early sunset and unpredictable weather can provide a number of different safety challenges. Here are a few tips that should help keep you safe and happy during the winter months.

During the recent ice storm and power outage, carbon monoxide poisoning was blamed several deaths. These deaths could have been prevented with carbon monoxide detectors. In one case, two Ontario residents died when carbon monoxide fumes from a generator running in a garage got into their home. In another situation, a family of four in Toronto were rushed to hospital after contracting carbon monoxide poisoning. The gas apparently came from the family burning coal inside to stay warm. Many others were also taken to hospital with signs of carbon monoxide poisoning during the storm. Toronto officials said that emergency services received six times more carbon monoxide poisoning calls a day during the storm than they typically receive.

How Carbon Monoxide Detectors Save Lives

Carbon monoxide detectors can be used to detect carbon monoxide in a home. Make sure that your carbon monoxide detector is equipped with back-up power in case of a power outage and be sure to test it regularly. If your detector sounds, leave your home immediately. In addition tocarbon monoxide detectors, there are other things you can do to protect yourself. It is important to keep grills, camp stoves and generators out of your home, basement and garage when you are running them. Do not use these devices in enclosed spaces even if you leave the door open.

You need to ensure that all such equipment is more than 25 feet away from your house at all times when it is running. Fire safety is also very important. Make sure that you use wood-burning stoves, fireplaces and heaters safely during the winter. Ensure that these devices are regularly checked and do not use any heating equipment that appears damaged in any way. Keep space heaters away from furniture, drapes, bedding, clothes, paper and other hazards. Place heaters on a stable, level surface and make sure to never leave them unattended. During the winter, you don’t just have to worry about fire safety and carbon monoxide detectors. Winter is also a peak time for break-ins and burglaries. Criminals take advantage of the longer nights to operate under the cover of darkness.

Having a proper alarm system is one of the keys to preventing winter break-ins. You can give your home additional protection by installing motion-activated lighting on your properly. These lights turn on whenever someone approaches your home, which ensures that criminals aren’t able to work in darkness. This deters them from striking. By following a few important tips and guidelines, you can ensure that you, your family and your home stay safe during the winter. Remember the importance of carbon monoxide detectors all year round, not just in the winter.