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newsrel -- Carbon Monoxide can be deadly in enclosed rooms

Posted: 08 Jan 2014 13:59:53
Please consider the following news release from the California
Air Resources Board:


January 8, 2014


Franceska Ramos
(916) 322-2990

Carbon Monoxide can be deadly in enclosed rooms

Check and replace batteries annually in carbon monoxide alarms
and detectors

SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board (ARB) urges
residents to guard against carbon monoxide poisoning by having a
carbon monoxide detection device installed and replacing
batteries annually for those devices that are operated by
batteries. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer and having a
working carbon monoxide detector is a small investment that can
help save lives. 

Californians are also urged to have gas appliances inspected to
ensure they are working properly. More than half of all carbon
monoxide poisoning deaths are from malfunctioning or improperly
vented gas appliances in homes. The others come from a variety of
combustion sources, including charcoal grills, automobile
exhausts, space heaters, generators and fireplaces.

The State of California requires by law that every California
home with an attached garage or fossil fuel source appliance have
an operational carbon-monoxide detector or alarm installed. 

Carbon monoxide poisoning can strike wherever combustion occurs
in enclosed areas, including homes, recreational vehicles,
cabins, tents and houseboats. Vigilance is the key to avoiding

“Carbon monoxide deaths are preventable,” said ARB Chairman Mary
D. Nichols. “Having the required alarms properly working and your
gas-using appliances inspected are simple steps that will protect
you and your family.”

Each year, about 30 Californians die from accidental carbon
monoxide poisoning and more than 600 others go to emergency rooms
due to non-lethal exposures. Warning signs of exposure are
headache, drowsiness, nausea and inability to concentrate; these
symptoms will go away when the affected person is removed from
the area and given fresh air.

Carbon monoxide inhibits the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to
body tissues including vital organs such as the heart and brain.

It is especially dangerous for young children and individuals
with heart disease, so it is crucial that people take
preventative measures such as having a properly working carbon
monoxide detector.

ARB recommends the following:
• Properly use and maintain appliances that produce a flame such
as furnaces and gas heaters;
• Never use gas ovens to heat the home;
• Never use kerosene and propane space heaters, charcoal grills,
barbecues or unvented gas logs indoors;
• Use caution when heating with propane appliances, older wall or
floor gas furnaces and fireplaces;
• Obtain annual check-ups of all gas appliances by a qualified
• Use state fire-marshal approved carbon monoxide detectors that
sound an alarm;
• Place emergency generators outdoors away from windows and doors
preventing fumes from entering the home; and
• Be especially careful with appliances in recreational vehicles,
cabins and houseboats, and use carbon monoxide detectors
specifically made for these locations.

In addition, do not operate cars or other internal combustion
engines in enclosed spaces or attached garages. Carbon monoxide
poisoning deaths are often the result of accidental exposure from
vehicles running in closed garages.

ARB data show that outdoor carbon-monoxide levels rise throughout
California between the months of November and March because of
the lack of breezes which could eliminate stagnant weather
conditions. These levels have been measured in covered garages
and at busy intersections. Rising levels of carbon monoxide may
generate health complaints in people sensitive to exposure. 

For more information on carbon monoxide, visit

For more information on indoor combustion pollutants and indoor
air quality guidelines, visit http://bit.ly/1cZDKNK. 

For a complete listing of all carbon monoxide detectors/alarms,
visit http://bit.ly/1lBr4jK

Additional information regarding inspection of gas appliances –
which may be at no cost to you – can be obtained by contacting
your local gas company.

PG&E: 1-800-743-5000 www.pge.com

Southern California Gas and Electric Company: 1-800-427-2200

San Diego Gas and Electric Company: 1-800-411-7343 www.sdge.com

ARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare,
and ecological resources through effective reduction of air
pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the
economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in
California to attain and maintain health based air quality

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