Beware of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning During Power Outages

Tips from Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority

Tips from Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority

With the high number of power outages due to the snow, the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority would like to remind residents about the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide (CO), is an odorless and colorless gas that is produced when any fuel is burned. This includes natural gas, propane, gasoline, charcoal, and wood. All appliances, including hot water tanks, furnaces, wood stoves, generators, and fire places that are powered by one of these fuels produces CO.

The danger of CO poisoning is when it is inhaled for an extended period of time. Breathing in CO reduces the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream, leading to light headedness, headaches, and dizziness. In severe cases, CO poisoning can lead to seizure, unconsciousness, and death.

Because CO cannot be detected by a person’s normal senses, it is important that residents take precautions to protect themselves and their families.

  • Purchase and install a UL approved carbon monoxide alarm.
  • Never bring BBQs or generators near or into homes.
  • Never leave vehicles running in the garage or carport.
  • Have all appliances inspected and serviced on a regular basis.
  • Use flashlights during power outages rather than candles.

If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning or if your CO alarm is activating, evacuate your home immediately and call 911.

Fast fact: Smoke alarms beep three times in a row and carbon monoxide alarms beep four times in a row.