Gaithersburg Washington-Grove Volunteer Fire Department
Gaithersburg - Washington Grove
Volunteer Fire Department
Montgomery County Maryland
Montgomery County Maryland
Montgomery County Maryland
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Gaithersburg Washington-Grove Volunteer Fire Department
Station 8 801 Russell Avenue . Gaithersburg, Maryland 20879 . (301) 948-0660
Station 28 7272 Muncaster Mill Road . Rockville, Maryland 20855 . (301) 921-9330

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Safety: Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is invisible, odorless and colorless. It can be appear in your home when your heating system isn't well maintained or vented or it can leak into the home from a car that’s running in the garage. Carbon monoxide can make you very sick. It can even kill you, see how.

You can protect yourself against carbon monoxide poisoning by keeping your heating system in good shape. You should also, however, install CO detectors in your home to alert you dangerous CO levels.

If you buy a CO alarm, the National Fire Protection Association recommends:
  • Select an alarm listed by a qualified, independent testing laboratory.
  • Install alarms in a central location outside each separate sleeping area, near the bedrooms. Each alarm should be installed on the wall, ceiling or other location as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Test and replace the alarms according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
If your CO alarm sounds:
  • Call 9-1-1 to report the alarm is sounding.
  • Watch for symptoms of CO poisoning: Headache, nausea, dizziness. Be sure to tell the dispatcher if anyone is feeling sick.
  • Have everyone move to an area with fresh (outside) air. Open windows. If anyone is feeling sick, go outside.

CO detectors are not substitutes for smoke alarms. Each serves its own purpose and you need both. You show know the difference between the sound of your CO alarms and your smoke alarms.

For further information about CO detectors contact the NFPA at

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