Carbon monoxide (CO) is odorless, colorless, hard to detect, and extremely dangerous. The gas is often called “the invisible killer.” It is critical that your family is protected from exposure. The CDC reports that there were a total of 5,149 deaths from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning from 1999 – 2010, or an average of 430 deaths every year, and the National Fire Protection Agency has issued warnings about the dangers of the gas. It is important that you and your family have protections in place. We have provided information that will help you keep your family safe:
Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors In Your Home.
Every home should have several CO detectors installed in central locations outside bedrooms and on every level of the home. The best method is to have these detectors interconnected so that when one alarm goes off, the others do as well. This adds a higher level of protection for children who may be sleeping on another level of your home – the parents will hear the alarm too.
Follow the Installation Instructions Carefully.
It is important that you mount the CO detectors in the correct areas at the right height. Follow the instructions word for word. If you are having trouble, get assistance from someone you trust who is handy.
Only Buy a CO Detector that is Approved and Safety Tested.
There are several testing laboratories that approve devices for consumers in the USA. When buying a carbon monoxide detector, only purchase from a trusted retailer. You don’t want to get an off-brand that is not tested and certified by a laboratory, or worse, a counterfeit that puts your family in danger.
Test the Batteries Once a Month.
Batteries vary in how long they last. A fresh battery may not last long, even if it’s just just out of the package. It’s crucial that your smoke and CO detectors have batteries that work. Make it a habit to test them each month.
If the Alarm Sounds – Get Your Family Out.
If you hear the alarm sound, it’s important that you move fast and get your family into a safe area. Don’t delay. Call the fire department immediately. It’s best to move outside the home completely.
Never Run a Vehicle in a Garage.
Even if you have the garage door open, CO can easily collect, seep into other areas of the home, and create a dangerous health hazard. Once you start your car, move it outside to warm up. Keeping the garage door open isn’t enough.
Have Your Furnace Inspected Yearly.
Vents can become clogged and carbon monoxide from your furnace could enter your home. As the gas is colorless, has no smell and cannot be seen, keeping all vents clean is extremely important – including checking during snowy weather to ensure there is no build-up that could block vents.
Protecting Your Family and Your Home in Gaithersburg
Home insurance is one way you can keep your family safe. Your insurance policy could require you to have active, working CO detectors in place in your home, and even if not, this is the right thing to do. If you are currently considering changing home insurance coverage, one of our local team from Walker-Poole Insurance in Gaithersburg, Maryland, can review the coverage you have.
We like to work with homebuyers as well, so that they have the right amount of coverage from the start. We are here to help our friends and neighbors throughout the Gaithersburg area. We all live and work locally, and can talk to you about your home insurance at a time that suits your schedule.
Let us know what you think about our blog – we welcome your feedback and comments! If you need help with home insurance, contact us today and we can arrange a meeting, or send us an email for a fast response. Call our team at Walker-Poole Insurance today for help.