It won’t be long before freezing weather and snow are here.
Did you know that November, December, January and February are top months for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning deaths in the United States?
These are the primary months when consumers crank up their furnaces and portable heaters to stay warm. Nearly two-thirds of non-fire related CO deaths take place in those four cold weather months.
Portable gas generators are also used in the cold months because of power outages, due to snow and ice storms.
CPSC has joined with the National Fire Protection Association this year to warn consumers and firefighters about CO, which kills more than 400 people every year, according to the CDC. CO is called the invisible killer because you cannot see or smell it.
Here is what you can do to prevent CO from hurting your family:
- Before using your chimney or turning on the furnace, get chimneys and fuel-burning appliances checked by a professional who services those items to make sure they are working correctly and vented to the outside properly.
- Get a CO alarm. Better yet, install one on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas.
- If you already have CO alarms, make sure they are working properly. Have you changed the batteries this year? If not, replace the batteries.
- Replace CO alarms every 5 years or as recommended by the manufacturer. Newer CO alarms have end of life indicators that beep when the alarm is at the end of its working life and needs to be replaced.
- Never use a portable generator inside your house, garage, basement, crawlspace, shed or in a semi-enclosed space, such as a porch close to the house. Generators should be at least 20 feet away from the house when in use.
Freezing weather and snow in the winter are a fact of life. Don’t let CO take yours.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/10/protect-your-family-from-deadly-carbon-monoxide-this-winter/
Calling all middle schoolers! CPSC is hosting a poster contest on carbon monoxide safety.
Have you ever heard of carbon monoxide? CO is a poisonous gas. It’s also called the invisible killer, because you can’t see or smell it, and it takes the lives of many people each year.
You can get CO poisoning from:
- A car left running in the garage
- The gas furnace in your home not functioning properly
- A portable generator running in an enclosed space, basement or living area
- A charcoal grill used inside your home
What can you do to prevent CO poisoning?
- Make sure your parents have a professional inspection of your furnace, fireplace and other fuel-burning appliances every year.
- Have CO alarms in your house.
- Never use generators or charcoal grills inside your home.
- Draw a poster about the dangers of carbon monoxide and what you can do to prevent CO poisoning and enter it into CPSC’s contest at www.cpsc.gov/COContest!!
You can WIN prize money. CPSC will award $500 to the top 10 finalists (three from each grade and one winner of the public vote) and another $1,000 will go to one lucky grand prize winner. Students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades can enter.
Want to know more? Check out our contest at www.cpsc.gov/CO. Watch our video for more info too. Vote for your favorite poster. Draw a poster, save a life, win a cash prize! The contest runs through February 2015.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/08/middle-schoolers-wanted-for-poster-contest/
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This infographic is also posted on CPSC’s Flickr page for easy sharing.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/02/cpsc-infographic-portable-generator-related-deaths/
Update: Jan. 6, 2014: Winter weather and extreme cold have been crossing the U.S. If you lose power, keep portable generators outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors. See below for more safety information. If you use a space heater to stay warm, follow these tips.
First Posted: Dec. 6, 2013
Dangerous ice and snow is sweeping across the plains, south, and heading east. There are expected to be widespread power outages associated with this large storm.
Are you planning on using a portable gas generator to help you during or after the storm this week?
When dealing with severe winter weather and power outages some people take unnecessary risks. Do not take extra risks with your generator. It can be deadly. (Take a look at this infographic to see just how deadly.) Its invisible odorless CO exhaust can kill you and your family in just minutes.
Be safe. Put your generator:
- OUTSIDE! Keep it at least 20 feet* away from windows and doors.
- Do NOT put generators in garages or basements. An open door does NOT provide enough ventilation to save you from deadly carbon monoxide gas.
When you use a generator, be sure to have a working CO alarm in your home. (Note: You should do this anyway.)
Finally, know the initial symptoms of CO poisoning:
- Shortness of breath
Get outside into fresh air quickly and call 911 immediately. Know what to do.
* Minimum distance recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Here’s more information on carbon monoxide.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/01/winter-weather-alert-generators/
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Who doesn’t love fall Time Change Sunday? We get an extra hour. What are you going to do with your newfound time?
Here’s a thought: When you wake and find yourself with that extra hour, change all of the batteries in your smoke and CO alarms. Talk about time well spent.
Yes, it’s that important safety time of year, when we government folks, along with fire and other safety officials around the country, recommend that you spend some time focused on safety. There’s good reason for this, as these alarms save lives. Remember, they can only do their job if you do yours.
When you do this:
Take a few moments to do this, too:
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/10/replace-your-smoke-alarm-and-co-alarm-batteries-this-sunday/