Contact: Battalion Chief Brad Fraizer
Duty PIO Pager 573-441-6608 (For Active Emergency Incidents - Leave detailed message)
Office 573-874-7557 (M-F, 8-5)
The Columbia Fire Department reminds our community that carbon monoxide detectors save lives.
How is carbon monoxide (CO) dangerous?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is known as the Invisible Killer because it is a poisonous gas that has no visible color, taste, or odor. When you breathe it in, it makes you feel nauseas, dizzy, headachy, and tired like you have the flu. It poisons the body by removing oxygen in the blood stream, slowly suffocating you. It makes it hard to think clearly.
Where Does CO Come From?
Heating equipment is the leading cause of CO incidents. It can also come from hot water heaters, gas stoves, gas dryers, barbecue grills, fireplaces, and from cars, lawn mowers, snow blowers or generators running inside the garage - even with the door open. A large number of CO incidents take place between the months of November and February and between 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. This is the time when most heating equipment is being used at home.
Placement, Purchasing and Maintenance of CO Alarms
Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed on every level of the home, including habitable portions of basements and attics, in most residences.
· On levels with sleeping areas, carbon monoxide alarms should be installed within 10-feet of bedroom doors.
· When purchasing a CO alarm, be sure to look for the approval label of an independent testing company, such as Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) or International Approval Service/Canadian Standards Association (IAS/CSA). Most CO alarms that are sold in Missouri meet these standards, but it is a good idea to check before buying your CO alarm.
· CO alarms may be:
· Beat the Beep and replace CO alarms every 5-7 years, depending on the make and model.
· If you have a plug-in model, be aware the battery will run down during an extended power outage and may need to be replaced frequently. It should certainly be replaced when the power is restored. They use a different technology than one that runs only on battery power, which won't be affected by the power outage.
CO Alarms Save Lives
Every year, many lives are saved because carbon monoxide alarms alerted people to this invisible danger when the levels were still relatively low and escape was possible. Sadly, there are still deaths every year from CO poisoning in homes that have not yet installed CO alarms or failed to maintain them. Does your home have a carbon monoxide detector?