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Fire officials: Galt home alarm shows importance of carbon monoxide detectors

An early morning alarm at a Galt home prompted Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department officials to remind residents of the importance of installing carbon monoxide detectors.

Firefighters were dispatched Tuesday to a home in response to an activated residential alarm. They arrived to find the home vacant with an alarm sounding and no signs of fire.

When the homeowner returned and firefighters were able to enter the house, they determined that the alarm had been activated by the carbon monoxide detector in the home, which was monitored by an alarm company. The alarm company had alerted the Fire Department.

Using gas detectors, fire crews determined there were elevated levels of carbon monoxide and immediately began ventilating the home, according to a Fire Department news release.

The homeowner told firefighters that recent work had been performed on the gas water heater because of a pilot light issue. Gas was shut off to the residence until the gas company could confirm the cause of the elevated carbon monoxide levels.

In this case, fire officials said, the homeowner was fortunate to be out of the house and to have a working carbon monoxide detector in the home that was being monitored.

They stress the importance of installing carbon monoxide monitors in homes with gas-powered appliances such as water heaters, furnaces and stoves. Fire officials offer several tips for carbon monoxide detectors:

▪ Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home. It is best to use interconnected alarms, so when one sounds, all the alarms in the home sound.

▪ Follow the instructions on the package to properly install the alarm.

▪ Test the alarms at least once a month.

▪ Replace alarms according to instructions on the package.

▪ Know the sounds the alarm makes. It will sound if a sufficient level of carbon monoxide is detected. It will make a different sound if the battery is low, or if it is time to get a new alarm.

▪ If the battery is low, replace it.

▪ If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, people in the home must get fresh air. Move outdoors, to an open window or open door. Call the fire department from a fresh-air location and stay until help arrives.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

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