Carbon Monoxide Awareness
By Assistant Chief Keith Grierson
January 8, 2021

Did you know that every year, more than 400 people are killed from unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) poisonings? Even worse, did you know that young children are at even greater risk, with a quarter of all calls to poison control centers being for children 19 and under?

There’s a reason they call carbon monoxide the “silent killer” – it’s colorless, odorless, tasteless, and can’t be detected by humans without the help of an alarm or detector. As the weather gets colder and more people are using heaters, fireplaces, furnaces, and other appliances that produce CO. So what can you do to protect yourself and your family from carbon monoxide dangers?


Make sure there’s a working CO alarm on every level of your house and near every bedroom. Test them every month to make sure they’re working correctly, and replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you need to turn on your vehicle to warm it up, make sure to take it out of the garage right away. Even if the door is open, don’t leave it sitting in the garage while the engine’s running.

Make sure to use generators and grills outside the home, away from any windows and doors.

Check the vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace outside your home to make sure they’re clear of any snow or other debris.

If the CO alarm sounds, leave the house immediately. Call 911 as soon as you and your family are outside the home. Stay outside until emergency personnel arrives. Never go back inside until directed by first responders.