To help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, consumers should follow these steps:
1. Have a qualified technician inspect fuel-burning appliances at least once a year.
2. Be alert to the danger signs that signal a Carbon Monoxide problem: streaks of carbon or soot around the service door of fuel-burning appliances; the absence of a draft in your chimney; excessive rusting on flue pipes or appliance jackets; moisture collecting on windows and walls of furnace rooms; fallen soot from the fireplace; small amounts of water leaking from the base of the chimney, vent, or flue pipe; damaged or discolored bricks at the top of your chimney; rust on the portion of the vent pipe visible from outside of your home.
3. Be alert to flu-like symptoms that CO poisoning may be the cause of, such as: headaches, tightness of chest, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, and breathing difficulties.
4. Install a certified Carbon Monoxide alarm outside sleeping areas that is designed to sound an alarm before dangerous levels of Carbon Monoxide accumulate.
5. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before installing a Carbon Monoxide alarm.
6. Do not place your alarm within five feet of household chemicals.
7. Test your unit often. If your alarm is wired into your home’s electrical system, you should test it monthly. If your alarm is powered by battery, test the alarm weekly and replace the battery at least once a year.
8. Never leave your vehicle running in an enclosed garage, even to “warm up” your car on a cold morning.
9. Never use charcoal grills inside a home, tent, camper, or unventilated garage.
10. If your alarm sounds, immediately operate the reset/silence button and call your emergency services (fire department or 911). Account for all household occupants. Never reenter the premises until emergency services have arrived and the premises have been sufficiently ventilated.
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