Every year, law enforcement is called to deaths in McKean and surrounding counties that were caused by carbon monoxide. Just this week, the death of a McKean County man is suspected to be caused by carbon monoxide.
In recent years, other deaths and hospitalizations have been attributed to the gas, including an Eldred couple and a family in Mount Jewett.
Bradford Fire Chief Eric Taylor suggests tips offered by The National Fire Protection Association to keep families safe. (Source: https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/Public Education/Resources/Safety-tip- sheets/COSafety.ashx)
Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. Heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel can be sources of carbon monoxide.
CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height. Choose a CO alarm that is listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
Call your local fire department’s non-emergency number to find out what number to call if the CO alarm sounds.
Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it. If it still sounds, call the fire department.
If the 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 for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel declare that it is safe to re-enter the home.
If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not 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 covered with snow.
During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors, and vent openings.
Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO — only use outside.
For any other questions, please call your local fire department.