Homeowners are reminded about Wisconsin’s CO Alarm Law
WAUSAU, WI, Feb. 1, 2012 - Wisconsin’s second annual Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week begins February 6, and Kidde, the world’s largest manufacturer of fire safety products, and Safe Kids Wisconsin are reminding families about the state’s carbon monoxide (CO) alarm law and how to protect themselves from this deadly gas.
Odorless, colorless, and tasteless, CO is called the “silent killer” because many people do not realize they’re being poisoned until it’s too late. Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause dizziness, severe headache, unconsciousness and even death. On average, about 400 people in the United States die and 20,000 people are injured each year from CO poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Carbon monoxide symptoms often mimic the flu, so people don’t know they’re being poisoned,” said Libbe Slavin, Safe Kids Wisconsin Coordinator. “Many CO poisonings occur during the winter months, when people are turning on their heat. The good news is that CO poisoning is very preventable if you have a working carbon monoxide alarm.”
Produced when fuel is burned, carbon monoxide is emitted by common fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, and stoves. When these appliances malfunction or are not properly ventilated, CO can seep into the home. According to 2010 Census data, more than three-fourths (76.3 percent) of Wisconsin homes use gas as the primary heating source.
Currently, Wisconsin’s carbon monoxide alarm law requires all dwellings, hotels and motels with fuel-burning appliances or an attached garage to have CO alarms. The last of the three-phase legislation went into effect Feb. 1, 2011. To raise awareness of the most recent law and to educate families about the dangers of CO poisoning and how to prevent it, Governor Walker signed a proclamation, declaring the first week of February as CO Awareness Week.
“Through Safe Kids’ annual prevention event, our coalitions and chapters have found that there are still many families in Wisconsin that do not have CO alarms,” said Slavin. “We urge you to install CO alarms on every level of your home and in sleeping areas.”
In addition to having working carbon monoxide alarms, homeowners should also have their furnaces and fireplaces inspected annually, and never use un-vented gasoline or kerosene space heaters or generators inside the home.
CO alarms range in price from less than $20 to more than $40, depending on the features, and are available at your local Menard’s store.
For more information on Wisconsin’s law, CO safety and how to protect your family, visit www.coalarmlaw.com
About Safe Kids Wisconsin
Safe Kids Wisconsin serves as the state office for 10 coalitions and five chapters in Wisconsin. Led by Children’s Health Education Center, a member of Children’s Hospital and Health System, we work to prevent unintentional childhood injuries through collaboration, education, policy and advocacy. For more information, visit www.safekidswi.org
As the world’s largest manufacturer of fire safety products, Kidde’s mission is to provide solutions that protect people and property from the effects of fire and its related hazards. For more than 90 years industry leaders, the military, airlines and firefighters have relied on Kidde to deliver superior fire detection and suppression. Consumers will find that same advanced fire safety technology in Kidde's residential and commercial smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and other life safety products.
Based in Mebane, NC, Kidde is part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp., a leading provider to the aerospace and building systems industries worldwide. For more information, visit www.kidde.com