As part of their ongoing commitment to community safety, the Council Bluffs Fire Department (CBFD) urges residents to install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors in their homes. Carbon monoxide is a silent threat that can pose serious health risks, so people must be proactive in protecting their households.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels such as wood, gasoline, and natural gas. Due to its elusive nature, carbon monoxide can be present in homes without any perceptible signs, thus the importance of carbon monoxide detectors.
"Carbon monoxide is often called the 'silent killer' for a reason. Without a detector, it can unknowingly cause health hazards and even fatalities," said Mike Godbout, Fire Captain at CBFD. "We strongly encourage all residents to install carbon monoxide detectors in key areas of their homes, including bedrooms and common living spaces."
CBFD recommends the following measures to ensure the effectiveness of carbon monoxide detectors:
- Install Detectors: Place detectors strategically throughout the home, focusing on areas where fuel-burning appliances are located.
- Test Regularly: Test your carbon monoxide detectors monthly to ensure they function correctly. Most detectors have a test button that emits a loud beep when pressed.
- Replace Batteries: Change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors at least once a year. Consider using the start of a new year as a reminder.
Carbon monoxide and smoke detector combinations, often called dual sensor detectors, are innovative safety devices that provide comprehensive protection for homes and occupants. These detectors effectively monitor the presence of smoke and carbon monoxide; therefore, knowing the difference between the two alarm sounds is crucial. Make sure all members of the home know what the different alarm sounds mean.
Each year, CBFD receives about 100 calls for carbon monoxide-related issues. If a carbon monoxide detector signals an alarm, act quickly:
- Evacuate: When the alarm sounds, leave the building immediately. Do not ignore the alarm, even if you feel fine.
- Call 911: Call 911 to report the alarm and follow their instructions. Emergency responders will assess the situation and provide guidance.
"The safety of our community is a collective responsibility," said Council Bluffs Fire Chief Justin James. "Just as smoke detectors are integral to fire safety, carbon monoxide detectors are equally important for protecting our families."
CBFD provides smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for Council Bluffs residents in need. Residents can call (712) 328-4646 to schedule an installation. Visit the CBFD web pages for more info.