Each year carbon Monoxide claims the lives of at least 430 people and causes over 50,000 ER visits. Austin Code enforces the ordinance that requires residential and commercial structures to be equipped with and maintain carbon monoxide alarms. While most deadly cases happen at home and while people sleep, Austin Code wants to shed light on not-so-common scenarios based on true events that occurred in 2020 to further educate the public on other ways they could become exposed to this deadly gas.
- Minimal airflow inside a boat – this could increase the levels of carbon monoxide and extended exposure to an enclosed boat could prove dangerous if not deadly.
- Improper generator use – a generator can emit carbon monoxide equal to six idling cars, for this reason, they must be kept away from your home. They cannot be indoors or in a covered area where gas is able to accumulate.
- Travel and vacation homes – the use of vacation rental homes could become tragic if the rented property is not equipped with a carbon monoxide alarm. A simple inspection to make sure the property compliant could save lives. Additionally, portable carbon monoxide alarms can be purchased at most general stores.
- Pool heaters – just like a car engine, gas pool heaters cause carbon monoxide poisoning if inhaled too long. Make sure these instruments are properly ventilated.
- Broken equipment – malfunctioning gas-fired carbon monoxide appliances could become lethal if not repaired immediately, we advise staying vigilant to the maintenance of such equipment.
- Cars left running in an enclosed garage – leaving the car running in the attached garage could collect high levels of carbon monoxide and be deadly.
- Camping and heaters – when portable heaters used while camping could create a tragic outcome if not placed in an area with proper ventilation.
A general reminder that carbon monoxide alarms:
- Must be installed in every residential and commercial structure with both sleeping areas and gas or fuel-burning appliances.
- Must be installed outside of each separate sleeping area and in the immediate vicinity of each sleeping area and required in any home with an attached garage.
- A combination alarm for both smoke and carbon monoxide fulfills the requirement and battery-operated alarms are acceptable for existing structures.
Learn more about Carbon Monoxide alarm requirements below: