Through his role as one of America’s favorite TV first responders, Taylor Kinney has learned the importance of whole home safety, including the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and the value of having working CO alarms in the home.
Every home safety checklist should include proper placement and maintenance of CO alarms. Yet, a survey revealed that more than 40% of Americans do not have a working CO alarm in their home. This winter, during the peak season for CO, Kinney and First Alert, remind viewers about the steps needed to protect what matters most from CO in a powerful public awareness campaign.
“As a TV firefighter and homeowner, I’ve learned about home safety and why it’s important to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms,” said Kinney. “A CO alarm is the only way to detect this potentially fatal gas and, through my partnership with First Alert, we can help educate the public about CO and the need to install and maintain alarms.”
Often dubbed “the silent killer,” CO is an invisible and odorless gas that is impossible to detect without an alarm. As temperatures drop and individuals crank up the heat, the risk for CO poisoning significantly increases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50,000 emergency room visits and over 430 deaths are attributed to CO poisoning in the U.S. each year, making it the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the country.
First Alert, with the help of Kinney, launched a series of public service announcements (PSAs) to remind consumers about the dangers of CO, value of CO alarms and important tips to help prevent CO poisoning, including:
- Install CO alarms. CO alarms are the only way to detect this poisonous gas. For a nominal price, a CO alarm can help protect a home and family from potential tragedy. According to the National Fire Protection Association, CO alarms should be installed on each level of the home, including the basement, and near every sleeping area.
- Test CO alarms. Once installed, test your alarms regularly. Replace the batteries at least every six months or simply upgrade to First Alert 10-year sealed battery alarms to eliminate battery replacement for a decade.
- Have fuel-burning appliances inspected regularly. When evaluating the home, it’s important to understand potential sources of CO, which include heaters, fireplaces, furnaces, appliances or cooking sources using coal, wood, petroleum products or other fuels emitting CO as a by-product of combustion. Arrange for a professional inspection of all fuel-burning appliances (such as furnaces, stoves, fireplaces, clothes dryers and water heaters) annually to detect any CO leaks.
- Never use generators indoors. In the case of a power outage, portable electric generators must be used outside only. Never use them inside the home, in a garage or in any confined area that can allow CO to collect. And, be careful to follow operating instructions closely. Also, refrain from using charcoal grills, camp stoves and other similar devices indoors.
- Be mindful of the garage. Never leave a car running in an attached garage. Even if the garage door is open, CO emissions can leak into the home.
- Know whom to call. If a CO alarm sounds, leave the home immediately and call 911.
“Through this public awareness campaign with Taylor Kinney, we aim to help people understand the importance of practicing CO safety and involving their whole families when discussing the topic,” said Tarsila Wey, director of marketing for First Alert. “Proper placement and regular maintenance of CO alarms are essential for protecting your family and your home from the threats of CO.”
To learn more about this campaign and information about CO alarms, or to watch the series of PSAs, visit FirstAlert.com.