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A Timely Carbon Monoxide Reminder

CDC recommends checking building CO detectors this weekend

November 1, 2019

A good part of facility managers’ tasks involve preventative maintenance to make sure building equipment and systems are operational and to avoid the inconvenience and cost of repairs. As managers adjust facility clocks to prepare for Sunday’s change from daylight savings time, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds them it is a good time to check their building’s carbon monoxide detectors.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas which can cause sudden illness and death. CO is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned and is found in fumes produced by furnaces, vehicles, generators, stoves, lanterns, and gas ranges. When power outages occur during emergencies such as severe storms or wildfires, the use of alternative sources of power, such as generators, can cause CO to build up in a building and poison the people inside.

Follow these tips from the CDC to prevent CO poisoning:

  • Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas-, oil-, or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician at least once every year.
  • Install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your facility and check or replace the battery at a minimum when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall.
  • Evacuate the building immediately and call 911 if the CO detector ever sounds. Seek prompt medical attention for building residents who are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseated.

Learn more about preventative maintenance practices that can cut down on reactive maintenance and repairs.

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