Quick Start Guide Natural Gas Utilities
SECTION 03: KEY SAFETY MESSAGES
Carbon Monoxide Awareness
Why Address This Issue? Colorless, odorless, and tasteless, carbon monoxide (CO) is literally a “silent killer.” CO is the leading cause of poisoning deaths in the United States. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), on average, about 170 people die every year in the United States from CO produced by malfunctioning non-automotive consumer products, including fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, ranges, water heaters, and room heaters; portable generators; fireplaces; and charcoal that is burned in homes. Per CPSC data, infants, small children, and even unborn babies are among those at greatest risk of CO poisoning, and senior citizens suffer the highest CO poisoning death rate.* Today’s natural gas appliances provide unparalleled personal comfort and convenience at an amazingly low cost of operation. But in order to sustain peak efficiency and long life, they must be installed correctly and regularly inspected and adjusted. Most CO incidents and their unfortunate consequences are due to improper equipment installation or poor maintenance, and are preventable.
* CPSC’s Carbon Monoxide Fact Sheet
Developing a Public Safety Communications Program
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