Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Each year in America, unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning claims more than 500 lives and sends another 15,000 people to hospital emergency rooms for treatment. CO is an odorless, non-visible gas that can build up in your home from combustion.
Protect Yourself and Your Family From CO Poisoning
Install at least one UL (Underwriters Laboratories) listed carbon monoxide alarm with an audible warning signal near sleeping areas and outside individual bedrooms. Carbon monoxide alarms measure levels of CO over time and are designed to sound an alarm before an average, healthy adult would experience symptoms. It is very possible that you may not be experiencing symptoms when you hear the alarm. This does not mean that CO is not present.
- Have a qualified professional check all fuel burning appliances, furnaces, venting, and chimney systems at least once a year.
- Never use your range or oven to help heat your home, and never use a charcoal grill or hibachi in your home or garage.
- Never keep a car running in the garage. Even if the garage doors are open, normal circulation will not provide enough fresh air to reliably prevent a dangerous buildup of CO.
Precautions for Your New Home
When purchasing an existing home, have a qualified technician evaluate the integrity of the heating and cooling systems, as well as the sealed spaces between the garage and house.
In the event of a fire, properly installed and maintained smoke alarms will provide an early warning alarm to your household. Most fires occur at night while sleeping. The United States has the more fires than anywhere in the world. Approximately 20-25 people die each day from fire related incidents.
Why Should My Home Have Smoke Alarms?
In the event of a fire, a smoke alarm can save your life and those of your loved ones. They are a very important means of preventing house and apartment fire fatalities. By providing an early warning signal, you and your family can escape. Smoke alarms are one of the best safety devices you can buy and install to protect yourself, your family, and your home.
Some smoke alarms are considered to be “hard-wired.” This means they are connected to the household electrical system and may or may not have battery backup.
- Replace the batteries when you adjust the clocks for daylight savings time in the spring and fall.
- If your smoke alarm starts making a "chirping" noise, replace the batteries and reset it.
- If you cannot replace your own smoke detector batteries because of physical limitations, call 618-234-2236, and the Belleville Fire Department can assist you.
Outdoor warning sirens help to warn the public that a situation exists when appropriate notification may be life saving. These alerts may be for situations such as tornadoes, chemical spills, or other hazardous situations. The sirens are designed to warn residents that are outside and away from a TV or radio that there is an emergency somewhere in St. Clair County. Warning sirens are tested on the first Tuesday of every month at 10:00 a.m. to verify they are working properly.
Although you may hear the sirens inside your home or business, they are not designed to wake you up in the middle of the night or to alert residents that are indoors. For both indoor and outdoor notification, register for FREE CodeRED notifications. Weather alert radios with a battery backup are recommended for these situations. In the event that you hear the sirens activate, please tune into a local radio station or a local TV station.
For Emergencies, Call 9-1-1
Do not call 911, unless you are having a true life threatening emergency. Police and Fire personnel will be busy attempting to resolve the emergency as quickly as possible.
Important Safety Information
The U.S. Fire Administration provides important fire safety and prevention information:
- Plan and practice escape plans several times a year
- Make sure your entire family knows when and how to call emergency telephone numbers
- Obtain and learn how to use a fire extinguisher
- Install carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms in your homes. When you change your clocks, be sure to change your batteries.
- Consider installing residential fire sprinklers in your home
Contact the Belleville Fire Department at 618-234-2236 if you need help or have questions about fire safety in your home.