“During the winter months, many families turn to heating sources they might not use at other times of the year,” said Deborah Hanson, director of external affairs for First Alert, one of the most recognized safety brands in America. “While these devices may be effective at providing warmth, they also can pose great risks if not used properly. To help protect loved ones and belongings from harm, it is important for homeowners to take proper precautions when dealing with any kind of alternative heat source.”
Experts recommend the following tips and tools for keeping your home and loved ones warm – and safe – this winter:
Protect Against CO Poisoning
- Run kitchen vents or exhaust fans anytime the stove is in use. The kitchen stove is among the most frequent sources of CO poisoning in the home. To help eliminate danger of overexposure, always run exhaust fans when cooking, especially during the holidays when stoves are left on for longer periods of time. Also open a nearby window periodically when cooking to allow fresh air to circulate.
- Never use generators indoors. In the case of a power outage,portable electric generators must be used outside only. Never use them inside the home, in a garage or in any confined area that can allow CO to collect. And,be careful to follow operating instructions closely. Also refrain from using charcoal grills, camp stoves and other similar devices indoors.
- Have fuel-burning appliances inspected regularly. Arrange for a professional inspection of all fuel-burning appliances (such as furnaces,stoves, fireplaces, clothes dryers, water heaters and space heaters) annually to detect any CO leaks.
- Install/test CO alarms. CO alarms are the only way to detect this poisonous gas,yet nearly one-half of Americans report not having CO alarms in their homes1. For as little as $25, a First Alert CO alarm can help protect a home and family from potential tragedy. Install alarms on every level of the home and near each sleeping area for maximum protection. Test alarm function monthly and change batteries every six months.
- Be mindful of the garage. Running vehicles inside an attached garage, even if Theodor is open, is hazardous, as CO can leak into the home.
- Know the number. Call 911and leave the home immediately if the CO alarm sounds.
Additional CO Alarm Guidelines
- Clear CO alarms of all dust and debris.
- Ensure that alarms are plugged all the way into the outlet or, if battery operated, have working batteries installed. Check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall.
- Make certain each person can hear the CO alarm sound from his or her sleeping room and that the sound is loud enough to awaken everyone. If young children are in the house, consider a new Child Awakening Smoke and CO combination alarm from First Alert. Studies have shown that children ages six to 10 wake more easily to a voice than to the traditional audible beep of an alarm.
- Make sure the alarms are installed at least 15 feet away from sources of CO to reduce the number of nuisance alarms.
So why not enter to win a First Alert VOICE Combination Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm and rest assured that your family is safe during the winter months.
Leave a comment of why you would like to win this product.
Good Luck! Winner will be announced January 10, 2012 after 10pm EST!