Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can be fatal to people and animals. The risk of CO poisoning can increase if appliances using CO-producing sources – like natural gas, kerosene, propane, coal, and gasoline – are used incorrectly or malfunction. Sharon Cooksey, fire safety educator for Kidde, a leading manufacturer of smoke and CO alarms, offers CO safety tips for major storms or prolonged power outages.
Before a storm
- Test your CO alarms to ensure they are properly working. Replace if necessary. CO can travel anywhere in the home (even through drywall), so place at least one alarm on every level.
- Replace alarms after 7-10 years, depending on the model. If you cannot remember when you installed your alarms, check the manufacturing date, typically located on the back of the alarm. Check your manufacturer guide for more information. Test alarms weekly and replace batteries regularly.
- Prepare a storm safety kit. Visit ready.gov for more information.