Fire Safety, Prevention & Education



What Is Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless gas that comes from burning fossil fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, propane, oil, and methane.  When these fuels burn incompletely, CO is produced. Home heating and cooking appliances can produce CO if damaged or misused. Vehicles such as cars, trucks, tractors, and lawn mowers are also a source of CO. Any motor allowed to run indoors can produce dangerous levels of CO.

It is estimated that 1,500 people die annually due to accidental Carbon Monoxide exposure, and an additional 10,000 seek medical attention.  Many doctors say that it is difficult to determine the total number of CO related incidents because the symptoms of CO poisoning closely resemble many other common ailments.


Common Symptoms

Flu-like symptoms are an early indication of low level CO poisoning. More serious exposure can lead to dizziness, mental confusion, severe headaches, fainting, feeling tired, and even death.. Carbon Monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).


What Should I Do If My CO Detector Alarm Goes Off?

- Make sure no one is experiencing any signs of CO poisoning.

- If symptoms of CO poisoning are present, every one should exit the building leaving the doors open as you go.
-  Use a neighbor's telephone or cell phone (outside) to report the alarm and follow the instructions given.
-  If symptoms of CO poisoning are not present, open the windows and doors, shut down heating and cooking equipment.
-  Call a qualified technician to inspect and service your equipment.
-  Be on the look out for symptoms of CO poisoning.


CO Producing Devices Around The Home

- Fuel fired furnaces (non-electric)
- Gas water heaters
- Gas stoves
- Gas dryers
- Fireplaces and Woodstoves
- Gas and charcoal grills
- Lawnmowers, snowmobiles, and other yard equipment
- Automobiles


Remember...Carbon Monoxide Detectors ARE NOT Smoke Detectors.  
Install a Smoke Detector on each level of your home and one outside each sleeping area.


Statistics show that, on average during our lifetime, each of us can expect to be involved in two or three fires serious enough to call the fire department.


Plan Ahead

People who have planned in advance what to do in a fire emergency and have the determination to survive are most likely to do so. Those who deny danger, feeling that fire will never happen to them, are most apt to succumb.


Install Smoke Detectors On Every Level Of Your Home

If you sleep with your bedroom door closed, install a smoke detector in the bedroom. The presence and proper maintenance of smoke detectors increase your chances of surviving a fire by 50%. Fire officials say that 90% of the victims they find in a fire look like they're asleep, the only difference is their faces are dirty from the soot because they died from the smoke and gases. When you're asleep you can't smell smoke, if anything smoke can put you into a deeper sleep. Most people die in the first 5 minutes of a fire.


Test Smoke Detectors Once A Month, Record The Date And Replace Dead Batteries

Keep spare batteries on hand and warn everyone in your household to leave working batteries in the smoke detectors. A smoke detector that doesn't work is like having no smoke detector at all.


1. Most fires start small.  Except for explosions, fires can usually be brought under control if they are attacked correctly with the right type and size of extinguisher within the first two minutes! 

2. A fire extinguisher should be "listed and labeled" by an independent testing laboratory.  The higher the rating number on an A or B extinguisher, the more fire it can put out. Be careful, high-rated units are often heavier models. Make sure you can hold and operate the model you are buying. 

3.  A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives.  Before attempting to fight a small fire be sure everyone is out of the building. It is important to have someone call the fire department. If the fire starts to spread or threatens your escape path, get out immediately! 

4. The operator must know how to use the extinguisher, quickly, without taking the time to read directions during an emergency.  Remember that extinguishers need care and must be recharged after every use.


Pull Aim Squeeze Sweep



5.  Pull the pin.  Some extinguishers require releasing a lock latch, pressing a puncture lever or other motion. AIM 

6.  Aim low, pointing the extinguisher nozzle (or it's horn or hose) at the base of the fire. SQUEEZE 

7.  Squeeze the handle.  This releases the extinguishing agent. SWEEP 

8.  Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until it appears to be out.  Watch the fire area in case the fire breaks out again, and repeat use of extinguisher if necessary.

9.  Most portable extinguishers work according to these directions, but some do not. Read and follow the directions on your extinguisher.  If you have the slightest doubt about whether or not to fight a fire - DON'T!  Get out and close the door behind you. 

10.  Ask your fire department about training and practice in the use of portable fire extinguishers.  Many fire departments offer training sessions to the public.

Firefighter Ken Yingling, Fire Prevention and Education Officer