Carbon monoxide grabs attention

ENCIRCLED BY CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS, Casco Fire Chief Jason Moen finishes talking at the Carbon Monoxide Community Awareness and Education Press Conference, which took place Thursday morning. (De Busk Photo)

ENCIRCLED BY CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS, Casco Fire Chief Jason Moen finishes talking at the Carbon Monoxide Community Awareness and Education Press Conference, which took place Thursday morning. (De Busk Photo)

By Dawn De Busk
Staff Writer
WINDHAM — As far as most local politicians are concerned, it is better not to force upon private citizens a law that would require all Mainers to install carbon monoxide detectors in their homes.
After all, the State of Maine already has rules for wearing seat belts and fines for not doing so.
Plus, since 2009, there has been legislation that requires all landlords, and all contractors of newly-built structures to have working carbon monoxide detectors in those dwellings. People who sell and purchase new properties must also adhere to carbon monoxide detector laws.
So, instead of working on legislation, influential residents of this state have decided to embark on a carbon monoxide awareness campaign.
Currently, those people involved in spreading the message about “the silent killer” are regional firefighters and local politicians as well as real estate brokers.
One of those events took place during the day on Thursday, Dec. 4; and it was hosted by the Windham Fire and Rescue Department at the Windham Public Safety Building.
No one is guaranteed a safety pass when it comes to carbon monoxide poisoning. Death by carbon monoxide is not a pretty thing.
Once the poisoning sets in it is similar to getting hypothermic from exposure to the cold — a person’s ability to think is thwarted. Therefore, a person cannot reasonably ascertain that they are being poisoned by carbon monoxide.
However, there are proactive measures a person can take. One of those up high on the list: Installing a carbon monoxide detector.
Here is what you do to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
Always run a generator outdoors. Don’t run generator in your home, even in the basement, or the garage.
When you start and warm your snowmobile or ATV, do so outdoors
A cooking stove is for cooking, not for warming. Not only is this a fire hazard, but also a carbon monoxide hazard. Restrain from hanging clothes near the stove to dry them.
Watch your appliances that are run on propane or natural gas — those are sources for carbon monoxide buildup.
The better winterized your home, the more at risk you are for carbon monoxide poisoning. An older home that is not as well-insulated will have a natural (heat-releasing) ventilation system.
For more information, go to HYPERLINK "http://www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm"http://www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm or HYPERLINK "http://www.homeself.com/coalter/detect.htm"http://www.homeself.com/coalter/detect.htm

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