'Tis the Season For Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Who do you call when your carbon monoxide detector is trying to jangle a very loud jingle?

You come home from Christmas shopping to find your house all a jingle jangle from the carbon monoxide detector. Who do you call and what do you do?

The first thing you want to do is call the Fire Department, then get out of the house, said Lt. Rick McClellan of the . 

From November until February carbon monoxide detectors spring to life in town, said McCleallan, who noted that it's probably due to people turning on their heating systems. 

If no one feels sick, please let the Fire Dept. know so they don't risk life and limb getting your home. If no one is in eminent danger, the firefighters can just go with the flow of traffic. But, if you or your children feel nauseous, dizzy, confused or if you have a headache, let the firefighters know and they will come with sirens blazing.

"Best thing to get intofresh air immediately," said McClellan.

One reason, besides actually detecting carbon monoxide, your detector could be going off is one of the detectors needs a new battery. In this case, the detector will sound until a fresh battery is put in.

Another reason for the alarm sounding could be the detector is malfunctioning, but if you have a detector that gives you a parts per million reading, check that out, said McClellan. If the detector reports back a number that is 20 ppm or higher, you could have a carbon monoxide leak from your stove, heating system or space heater (the most likely culprits), said McClellan. 

In all cases, be safe and call the fire department. Carbon monoxide is tasteless, odorless and can be toxic. Wilmington's firefighters have meters that can detect what the level of CO2 is in your home to be sure you are safe.

"It's hard to tell if you don't have a meter that reads the parts per million," said McClellan. "If you're not sure [why the alarm is sounding], we're more than happy to come down and see if there is . . . something going on in the house."


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