That's right, the Los Angeles Fire Department has often warned of the dangers of "the silent killer", Carbon Monoxide (CO).
Now, we are here to tell you that as of July 1, 2011, the State of California requires Carbon Monoxide detectors in most single family homes - and soon in every residence. This new law is to be enforced by the City of Los Angeles, Housing Department.
Carbon Monoxide is the leading cause of unintentional poisoning deaths in America, claiming more than 400 lives each year. CO is an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas that can lead to brain damage and even death. CO is produced whenever fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal is burned - and can be produced by common household appliances. Sources of CO poisoning can include:
· Gas water heaters
· Home heating systems
· Kerosene space heaters
· Grills, hibachis or portable gas camp stoves
· Idling motor vehicles
· Cigarette smoke
· Propane-fueled forklifts
· Gas-powered concrete saws
· Indoor tractor pulls
· Swimming behind a motorboat
· Spray paint, solvents, degreasers, and paint removers
· Portable Generators
It is not uncommon for your firefighters to respond to accidents that involve CO poisoning during the winter months, as people often burn various fuels and use appliances as a source of heat. However, we often respond to these accidents during the summer months as well.
There is some good news...these accidents are preventable. Please take the necessary steps to ensure proper ventilation around any appliance that may generate this toxic gas, use a little common sense and get your CO detectors today. Remember, once installed, these alarms should be tested monthly, just as with your (already installed) smoke alarms. It is important to note, these do not replace your traditional smoke alarms! There are, however, some units available that will serve a dual function and provide protection against both.
Carbon Monoxide detectors are affordable, widely available at most home improvement/hardware stores and now... in California they are required by law!
For more information and some helpful tips on preventing the dangers of Carbon Monoxide, read a previous post on our blog: "Carbon Monoxide, the 'Silent Killer".
Submitted by Matt Spence, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department