With the start of a new year, I’m tackling lots of items off my to do list already. There are a number of projects that I’ve been wanting to handle and there is no time like the present to get started!
I’ve partnered with the Mom It Forward Influencer Network to bring you these ideas.
The very first thing we started with was installing new carbon monoxide detectors in our home. A local family of four recently tragically passed away from carbon monoxide poisoning. When I read the news story shared on Facebook, my heart sank.
Carbon monoxide is so dangerous because it’s colorless, odorless and impossible to detect without a carbon monoxide alarm. It’s especially prevalent in winter months when furnaces are working overtime.
It can be produced by any fuel burning device. It’s known as “the silent killer,” CO poisoning is the number one cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States.
It’s also notoriously difficult to diagnose – often until it’s too late. The symptoms mimic those of many other illnesses, including nausea, headaches, dizziness, weakness, chest pain and vomiting. In more severe poisoning cases, people may experience disorientation or unconsciousness, or suffer long-term neurological disabilities, cardio respiratory failure or death.
Nearly half of Americans report they don’t have carbon monoixide detectors in their homes. Yet carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for an average of 450 deaths and more than 20,000 emergency room visits each year.
I knew I needed to make sure my family was safe.
My husband, Ryan, installed First Alert detectors in our home. We learned it’s best to install them at least 15 feet from any known carbon monoxide sources so we don’t get false alarms. After installing the detectors, he sat down and had a talk with our boys about what they meant.
Ryan explained that the alarms were helpful and signaled to us that there was a problem so we could stay safe. It was also a great chance to review our family emergency plan so they boys knew what to do.
One unit is a free standing battery detector, so you can put it anywhere in the house, whether you have an electric plug or not.
Another design can be plugged in to an outlet and then has battery backup. I put that one under our kitchen island.
I learned that carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on each level of the home plus in sleeping areas. You should also test them once a month to make sure they’re working well.
Beyond installing carbon monoxide detectors, there are more ways you can work to keep your family safe. Here are some ideas:
- Make sure your vents are clear — check your dryer, stove, furnace and fireplace vents regularly.
- Always run a kitchen vent or exhaust fan when using your stove.
- Do regular maintenance — once a year, schedule a qualified professional to come inspect any fuel burning devices to make sure they’re functioning properly.
- Keep fireplaces clean and well vented. Make sure the damper is open before starting a fire.
- Make sure all your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have new batteries regularly, twice a year is ideal. You should also check that they’re clear of dust and debris.
- Don’t leave space heaters on over night or left unattended.
- Never use a generator or grill inside your home or garage. Generators should be used at least 15 feet from your home.
- Don’t use a range or oven as a heat source.
Once you’ve installed your carbon monoxide detectors, make certain every person in your family can hear the alarm in their room and it’s loud enough to wake them up.
I LOVE that our First Alert models have voice and location technology. I think that’s really great for young kids, especially since studies show they wake up better to a voice than to an alarm.
First Alert has a variety of alarms to fit each home’s specific needs and, most importantly keep families safe.
- The PRC710V provides both smoke and CO protection, has a 10-year battery and features both voice and location technology
- The CO710 is a nice table-top addition, uses a digital display with temperature and can be easily added to any room
- The CO615 is a plug-in alarm with battery backup with digital display
- The CO400 is an easy-to-use, battery-operated alarm with a wall mount
Simple steps can help prevent a tragedy from striking your family. I feel a much greater peace of mind now and encourage you to take these steps as well!