HVFD advises carbon monoxide detector check

A false carbon monoxide alert at a Homer residence earlier this month has prompted the Homer Volunteer Fire Department to remind home and business owners to install and check CO detectors.

At about 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 6, firefighters went to a report of a CO detector alarm in a house. The homeowner  had changed batteries in the CO detector a few days earlier, but firefighters found it had malfunctioned, said HFVD Fire Chief Bob. 

Firefighters left the homeowner a working CO detector to borrow. No one was injured in the alert, he said. However, firefighters did find some CO present in a garage and vented it, Painter said. 

While all businesses and homes using carbon fuels like wood, fuel oil, propane and natural gas should have CO detectors, people also should check to make sure detectors are still reliable. 

Manufacturers recommend that detectors be replaced every 5 to 10 years, Painter said. Check the date of manufacture on the unit and replace if out of date, he said.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that in high concentrations can cause disorientation and eventually death. Symptoms can mimic those of flu like headache, nausea and vomiting. The best detectors have a digital readout that shows a number in parts per million. If a CO detector alerts, residents should leave the building and call 911.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.