Companies urge customers to check CO detectors to ensure working order
NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of AVANGRID, remind customers to take the proper precautions to protect themselves and their family from dangerous carbon monoxide (CO) fumes.
A colorless and odorless gas, carbon monoxide is found in combustion byproducts such as those produced by small gasoline engines, generators, or by burning charcoal, coal, oil, wood, propane or natural gas. Carbon monoxide from these sources can build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur within a matter of minutes. Customers who suspect a CO problem should immediately exit the premises and call the utility or 911. Symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure include: flu-like symptoms, headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea and loss of muscle control.
The companies reminded customers that the easiest way to prevent becoming a victim of carbon monoxide is early detection – installing CO detectors in one’s home. State law requires all New York residences have CO detectors installed.
The companies also urge customers to check and replace the battery on a regular schedule and to also have their home heating, water heater and any other coal, oil, wood, propane and natural gas burning appliance inspected and maintained annually by a professional. They offered the following additional tips:
Call NYSEG at 1-800-572-1121 or RG&E at 1-800-743-1702 to report gas leaks, odors or emergencies. If you suspect a leak, get up and get out, leave the building and call from a safe place. If there’s an immediate danger, call 911.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be located on every level of your home, including outside all sleeping areas. Test them monthly and replace the batteries at least twice a year, when you change the clocks for Daylight Saving Time.
Never use your stove or oven to stay warm. Only space heaters intended for indoor use should be operated indoors or in enclosed spaces, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
When operated improperly, portable generators can also cause carbon monoxide problems. Those looking to operate portable generators should operate them outdoors in a clean, dry, well-ventilated area, and never indoors or in a garage. They should also make sure exhaust gases are safely vented away from the house, windows or other enclosed areas. Generators that plug into a home’s electrical system should be installed by a licensed electrician via a transfer switch.