In the midst of winter when temperatures drop, we bundle up, close our windows, and turn on heaters to keep us warm. When doing so, we don’t expect is to suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning, yet the numbers tell a different story. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2010 to 2015, a total of 2,244 deaths resulted from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning. It was also found that January is the deadliest month for carbon monoxide poisoning.
To help protect yourself and your loved ones this January and beyond, follow these simple precautions to mitigate the chance of an in-home fire and suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning:
1. Be generous when installing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
Regardless of what type of carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms you use, ensure the detectors are positioned around the home so all house dwellers can hear the alarm. According to the personal injury experts of Manchin Injury Law Group, alarms and detectors should be on every floor of the house, covering all sleeping areas.
2. Demonstrate how detectors should work
Don’t wait until an actual emergency occurs to learn what your alarms and detectors sound like. Ensure all members of your home are well-versed on the differences between alarms and detectors so they may recognize what kind of danger is present and where it is located.
3. Test alarms and detectors monthly
Conducting a monthly test of all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors will ensure they are functioning properly. If they malfunction, replace immediately. A good rule of thumb is to replace carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms every 10 years.
4. Replace batteries every year
Unless the alarm or detector chirps, you should replace smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries every year. If you haven’t done so in a while, this is your reminder to do so!
5. Clean alarms and detectors regularly
If an alarm or smoke detector becomes filled with dust, dirt, lint, or any other form of blockage, it may malfunction. Keeping smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors clean will help ensure they are functioning properly.
6. Have emergency contact number listed in various spots of your home
If you detect smoke or carbon monoxide in your home, immediately contact 911 or your local fire department. Listing emergency contact numbers in an obvious place will help ensure you can contact the correct personnel and get help as soon as possible.
7. Make a plan
An emergency, no matter how big or small, can be overwhelming. Make a plan with the members of your household if you experience a detection of fire or carbon monoxide. Designate specific members to be in charge of calling the emergency contacts, choose a safe place to meet outside the home, and plan multiple routes to safely evacuate your home.
This January, turn on your winter heating appliances with the comfort of knowing your family is safe. Applying these 7 tips to prevent a home fire and carbon monoxide poisoning may not only save your home but could save you and your loved one’s lives.