State fire marshal urges fire & carbon monoxide alarm safety - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

State fire marshal urges fire & carbon monoxide alarm safety


The Indiana State Fire Marshal is reminding you to keep there smoke detectors in working order.  Marshal James Greeson says keeping your detector's battery charged can save your life.  

"Smoke alarms save lives, and a working smoke alarm is the best insurance against becoming a casualty in a house fire," said Greeson  in a written statement.  "Firefighters too often find that in fatal fires, a home had smoke alarms but their batteries had been removed."

He says most fire casualties happen at night, when people are sleeping.  The smoke can actually keep people from waking up, making smoke alarms all the more important.

All Indiana homes are required to have a functioning smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and on each level of the building, but Greeson has additional recommendations.

  • Test the alarms monthly and replace batteries at least once a year. If an alarm "chirps," it means the battery is low and should be replaced immediately.
  • The smoke alarms themselves should be replaced every 10 years.
  • For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home - when one sounds, they all sound.
  • Have a fire escape plan and practice it with your children.
  • When the smoke alarm sounds, exit the home at once and meet at a set location.
  • Call 9-1-1
  • Once outside, stay outside.

Marshal Greeson also recommends having a carbon monoxide detector at home if any types of fuel are used for heating or cooking.  Greeson says carbon monoxide is the number one cause of accidental poisoning in the United States.

  • Install in a central location at eye level close to, but not in, the same room as the furnace, water heater or any appliance that uses these fuels. 
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for placement and mounting height.
  • Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Call your local fire department's non-emergency number to find out what number to call if the CO alarm sounds.
  • 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 outdoors or by an open window or door.  Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for.  Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel arrive.
  • An indication of abnormal levels of carbon monoxide in the home may be nausea or a headache in the forehead area that gets better or goes away when you or a family member are at work or school, but then returns after hours of being back in the home. 
  • Never leave a running vehicle in the garage, even if the doors are open.
  • During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
  • A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.
  • Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO - only use outside.



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