Kidde Marks Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness Week as Inclement Weather Intensifies Nationwide
Mebane, NC -
Each year, unintentional poisoning from carbon monoxide (CO) - a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that can be lethal to humans and pets - in the U.S. kills at least 430 people and sends about 50,000 people to the hospital, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As part of Carrier's Healthy Homes Program, Kidde once again marks Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week in the U.S. and Canada Nov. 1-7. The annual educational initiative brings heightened attention to the need for a safe and healthy home by making people more aware of the dangers of CO poisoning and how to prevent it in both their two- and four-legged family members. Kidde, a leading manufacturer of residential smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and safety accessories, is part of Carrier Global Corporation (NYSE: CARR), a leading global provider of healthy, safe, sustainable and intelligent building and cold chain solutions.
The risk of CO poisoning increases when temperatures plunge and home heating systems run for longer than usual. However, while unintentional CO poisoning incidents usually spike during the winter, the risk of CO poisoning is a year-round issue - whether through gas appliances, grilling, severe storms or power outages. From the disastrous Texas winter storms to the lasting effects of recent hurricanes across the southeast, communities nationwide have experienced inclement weather of higher intensity during 2021.
According to a recent study from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), only two-thirds (67%) of U.S. homes have a CO alarm and accidental, non-fire related poisoning accounts for over $1.3 billion annually in societal costs. "CO is often called the 'silent killer,'" says Sharon Cooksey, Kidde's Fire Safety Educator. "That's why Kidde is committed to educating consumers about CO, not only this week but every week. We want families to have confidence in the health and safety of their loved ones at home, pets included."
Like their owners, pets are susceptible to CO poisoning, too - yet according to a recent survey commissioned by Kidde and conducted online by The Harris Poll, 52% of American pet parents are not confident they could identify the symptoms of CO poisoning in their pets.
It's important to understand how to prevent CO incidents, how to detect CO in your home, and how to recognize the symptoms of CO poisoning in your family and pets.
To help protect people and pets from CO, Kidde shares the following advice:
Take steps to prevent CO poisoning in your home, including:
Regularly inspect appliances such as stoves, furnaces, and washer-dryers, to ensure they're properly installed and not malfunctioning. CO sources include natural gas, kerosene, propane, coal and gasoline. According to the CPSC, 64% of non-fatal CO poisonings happen in the home.
Keep chimneys clear of animal nests, leaves and residue to ensure proper venting. Have all fireplaces cleaned and inspected annually.
Never leave your car motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage - even if it's cold outside.
Only use grills and generators outside of your home, including attached garages (even if the garage door is open). Place grills at least 10 feet away from your home and generators at least 20 feet away from your home to help keep CO from entering your living spaces.
Install CO alarms throughout the home. CO can travel anywhere in the home - even through drywall - so most often, one alarm is not enough. It's best to install CO alarms throughout the entire home with at least one on every level, and consider including in living areas, bedrooms and hallways outside sleeping areas. If your alarm sounds or if you suspect CO in your home, evacuate your home immediately and call 911.
Replace your alarms every 7-10 years. While testing alarms once a week and ensuring batteries are replaced are critical, replacing every alarm at a minimum of 7-10 years is paramount. If you cannot remember the date you installed your alarms, check the manufacturing date - commonly located on the back of the alarm - and add 7-10 years, depending on the model. Please check your manufacturer user guide.
Know the signs of CO poisoning. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning in people often mirror those of the common flu and include things like headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. In pets, initial symptoms include nausea/vomiting, dizziness or labored breathing, among others.
For more CO and fire safety tips for your family and pets, visit kidde.com.
Kidde, a leading manufacturer of residential smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers, and safety accessories, has been keeping the world a safer place for over 100 years. Kidde produced the first integrated smoke detection system a century ago and continues its legacy today by delivering advanced fire-safety technology. Kidde is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, a leading global provider of innovative HVAC, refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. For more information, visit www.kidde.com or follow @KiddeSafety, and on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
The U.S. survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Kidde from between August 17-19, 2021 among 1,308 pet owners (i.e., own a cat or dog). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Sharon Cooksey.