Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, colorless, odorless, gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment (that burn fuel) can be sources of carbon monoxide. It is often called the Silent Killer.
It is important to follow these precautions against CO poisoning and leaks in your home:
CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location, such as outdoors. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel arrive.
Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open.
A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.
Gas and charcoal grills can produce CO. Only use them outside.
The 2009 Oregon Legislature passed HB 3450, the Lofgren and Zander Memorial Act, requiring the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in specific residential applications with a carbon monoxide source. The purpose of the bill is to reduce deaths and poisonings from carbon monoxide. For more info on these requirements, visit the Oregon State website.