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3/9/2014 - *Canton’s Firefighters/EMTs Remind Residents to Be Safe…Replace

Town of Canton Volunteer Fire & EMS Department
Valuing Life…at a Moment’s Notice

Carbon Monoxide: An Undetected Danger
Canton’s Volunteer Firefighters & EMTs Remind
Residents to Be Safe…Replace

True Stories: Smoke/CO detectors at the Dyer Avenue and Case Street homes sounded their alarms around dinner time. The police dispatcher advised the residents to evacuate immediately.

In one home, Canton’s volunteer firefighters found CO levels registering 75 parts per million; a level at which angina, impaired vision and reduced brain functioning may begin. While meter readings at the other home were lower, they were still high enough to potentially cause impaired concentration, dizziness and confusion.

Volunteer firefighters quickly determined that the cause of the elevated CO, at both homes, were furnaces that had malfunctioned.

In Response to an up tick in CO-related emergencies throughout the year, the Town of Canton Volunteer Fire & EMS Department asks homeowners to practice preventative measures to remain safe from CO poisoning. These include the following:

- Purchase only UL Certified CO alarms: Place them, as recommended by the manufacturer, throughout the home. One alarm is not enough. This is a relatively reasonably priced security tool that can save the health and lives of your family.

Carbon monoxide is odorless. It’s colorless. And it’s deadly. CO replaces the oxygen in your bloodstream and suffocates your body’s cells.  And, you won’t even see it coming. CO alarms provide a first line of defense against CO poisoning.

- Service your furnace at least once a year: In the post-winter months, you may not think about maintaining your oil tank, or even keeping it filled. However, an empty tank leaves sludge behind which plugs the filter and creates a malfunction in the furnace. This can cause the furnace to release CO into your home.

- Prevention is no accident:  The recent economic downturn caused people to postpone preventative services to items such as: furnaces, wood/kerosene or pellet stoves; oil or gas appliances. However, the fact is a well-maintained furnace/stove uses less fuel.

And, preventative measures are usually less expensive than recovery from an emergency situation.

On Sunday March 9th 2014, Canton’s volunteer firefighters and EMTs will be traveling around town during their Be Safe….Replace campaign, reminding residents to replace the batteries in their smoke and CO alarms. In addition, they will be supplying both fresh batteries and alarms to residents who need them, at no cost, thanks to generous donations from: Collinsville Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., First Alert and Energizer.

Recently, volunteer firefighters and EMTs responded to a home where one of these Be Safe….Replace CO alarms was activated. It was 1:00 a.m. The 911 operator advised the residents to evacuate immediately. Upon arrival, volunteer firefighters found CO readings, in the sleeping area of the home that were over 60 ppm. Meters in the basement found readings over 117 ppm.

Canton’s volunteer firefighters and EMTs are trained and equipped to handle fire, smoke, CO and other hazardous emergencies. Prevention, however, is key to life safety. That’s where you can help us keep you and your family healthy and protected throughout the year.
Until then….. be safe.