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November – Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month

Redwood City Fire Department Advisory – November is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month

Redwood City, CA – As the colder weather starts to settle in and the use of fossil fuel heating increases, the Redwood City Fire Department reminds residents that November is Carbon Monoxide Awareness month. All residents should be aware of the importance of having a working carbon monoxide alarm in their homes.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced  from heaters, fireplaces, furnaces, and many types of appliances and  cooking devices. Each year, CO claims the lives of an average of 480 people, and sends more than 20,000 people to emergency rooms, nationwide. In Redwood City, there have been incidents of CO poisoning in recent years from in-house heating and furnaces, which have been life-threatening and nearly disastrous.

The best way for homeowners to stay protected from CO  is to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed on every floor and outside  each sleeping area. A recent study found that nearly nine in 10  California households did not have a CO alarm. Combination CO/smoke alarms are available.

As of July 1, 2011, state law requires owners of single family homes with attached garages or fossil fuel sources for heating to install carbon monoxide alarms in every California home.  In addition, all other dwelling units, like apartments, are required to have an alarm by January 1, 2013.

California’s Carbon Monoxide Month is intended to help educate homeowners about the law and to encourage them to install a carbon monoxide alarm. CAL FIRE / Office of the State Fire Marshal are teaming up with fire departments across the state, as well as other State agencies to spread the word about the dangers of CO and how to keep families and friends safe.

For more information on carbon monoxide visit the CAL FIRE website at www.fire.ca.gov or visit the website for the California Department of Public Health at www.cdph.ca.gov. Visit the Redwood City Fire Department’s web page at www.redwoodcity.org/fire.

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