Carbon Monoxide: The Invisible Killer

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Dec 112012

The Orange Fire Department responded to a CO detector call on Saturday.

From the Orange Fire Marshal’s Office, a press release about the dangers of carbon monoxide originating from FEMA.

Each year in America, more than 150 people die from accidental non-fire related carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning associated with consumer products. These products include faulty, improperly-used or incorrectly-vented fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fireplaces. Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) would like you to know that there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself from deadly carbon monoxide fumes.

Understanding the Risk

What is carbon monoxide?
CO, often called “the silent killer,” is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. It can be created when fossil fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, methane or wood do not burn properly.
Where does carbon monoxide come from?
CO poisoning can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers or cars left running in garages.
What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, nausea and drowsiness. Exposure to undetected high levels of carbon monoxide can be fatal.

CO Alarm Installation

  • Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Install and maintain CO alarms inside your home to provide early warning of carbon monoxide.
  • CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, have CO alarms that are interconnected throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
  • Combination smoke-CO alarms must be installed in accordance with requirements for smoke alarms.
  • CO alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms and vice versa. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and the sound of CO alarms.

CO Alarms: Testing and Replacement

  • Test CO alarms at least once a month and replace them if they fail to respond correctly when tested. The sensors in CO alarms have a limited life. Replace the CO alarm according to manufacturer’s instructions or when the end-of-life signal sounds.
  • Know the difference between the sound of the CO alarm and the smoke alarm, and their low-battery signals. If the audible low battery signal sounds, replace the batteries or replace the device. If the CO alarm still sounds, get to a fresh air location and call 9-1-1 or the fire department.
  • To keep CO alarms working well, follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.

CO Precautions

  • Have fuel-burning heating equipment (fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters, wood stoves, coal stoves, space heaters and portable heaters) and chimneys inspected by a professional every year.
  • Open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace.
  • Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home. The CO gas might kill people and pets.
  • When purchasing new heating and cooking equipment, select products tested and labeled by a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Make sure all fuel-burning vented equipment is vented to the outside to avoid CO poisoning. Keep the venting for exhaust clear and unblocked.
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not blocked with snow, ice or other materials. The CO gas might kill people and pets.
  • Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.
  • Only use barbecue grills outside, away from all doors, windows, vents and other building openings. Some grills can produce CO gas. Never use grills inside the home or the garage, even if the doors are open.
  • Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, vents and other building openings to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the home.

If Your CO Alarm Sounds

  • Immediately move to a fresh air location (outdoors or by an open window or door). Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the fire department from a fresh air location (outdoors or by an open window). Remain at a fresh air location until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.


The family in this case got out of their home and waited outside for firefighters to arrive.

Suffer Super Storm Sandy Damage? Disaster Assistance Is Here

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Nov 062012

Governor Dannel P. Malloy today released a useful fact sheet for Connecticut residents seeking information on how to apply for federal disaster assistance resulting from Storm Sandy.  The fact sheet provides step-by-step details on how the FEMA application process works and can be downloaded at www.ct.gov/sandy.

“Right now, one of our top priorities following Storm Sandy is to help individuals and business owners get their lives back to normal as quickly as possible,” Governor Malloy said.  “This fact sheet is a one stop resource for residents – one that will be regularly updated with the latest information.”

The fact sheet will continue to be updated in the coming days as developments are made and additional assistance may become available.

When registering for the assistance, the Governor and FEMA are encouraging residents to utilize the online registration method at www.DisasterAssistance.gov in order to expedite the registration process and avoid potential telephone hold times.

**Download: Fact Sheet on Applying for Storm Sandy Disaster Assistance in Connecticut

Fact Sheet on Applying for Storm Sandy Disaster Assistance in CT

Updated: November 6, 2012




Governor Dannel P. Malloy is encouraging Connecticut residents recovering from the impact of Storm Sandy in the four eligible counties to register for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The major federal disaster declaration, signed by President Obama on October 30, offers federal assistance available to individuals, businesses, non-profits, and municipalities in Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex and New London counties. Residents from these counties are eligible to register.

Assistance for losses sustained anytime after the storm, which began on October 27 and ended October 31, may include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help recover from the effects of the disaster. Even those with insurance may be eligible for help from FEMA if their insurance policy does not cover all their needs.

This is how the process works:

STEP 1: Register with FEMA

There are several ways to register:

  •   Apply online anytime at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. This is the preferred and most efficient method.
  •   Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY at 1-800-462-7585. The toll-free number is open from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. seven days per week.
  •   By smartphone or tablet, use m.fema.gov.When applying for aid, you will receive a nine-digit registration number that can be used for reference when corresponding with FEMA.

It is helpful to have the following information handy:

  •   Current telephone number;
  •   Address at the time of the disaster and current address;
  •   Social Security number, if available;
  •   A general list of damages and losses;
  •   If insured, the name of insurance company, agent and policy number; and
  •   Bank routing number for any direct deposit.FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers:Those with additional questions or who would like to speak to someone in person have the option of visiting one of several FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) that have been set up around the state. The DRCs are located at:


    Housatonic Community College
    900 Lafayette Blvd
    Mondays through Fridays, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Sundays, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


    Long Wharf Campus Gateway Community College 60 Sargent Drive
    Mondays through Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sundays, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Mobile Centers


Guilford Fire Headquarters (Police Dept.)
390 Church Street
Tuesday, November 6, 2012, 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, November 8, 2012, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Parsons Government Center (Gymnasium)
70 West River Street
Monday, November 5, 2012, 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 6 through Sunday, November 11, 2012, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

STEP 2: Receive a Property Inspection

Within a few days after registering, eligible applicants will be telephoned to make an appointment to have their damaged property inspected. The inspectors, who are FEMA contractors and carry identification badges, visit to make a record of damage. They do not make a determination regarding assistance. There is no cost for the inspection.

STEP 3: All Applicants Will Receive a Letter from FEMA Regarding the Status of Their Requests for Federal Assistance

Some will also receive an application for a low-interest disaster recovery loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Anyone who has questions about the letter from FEMA should call the helpline (1-800-621-3362 or TTY, 1-800-462-7585).

Those who receive an application packet from the SBA should complete and submit the forms. No one is required to accept a loan, but submitting the application may open the door to additional FEMA grants.