OCEAN CITY – The Fire Marshal’s Office of the Ocean City Fire Department takes this opportunity to inform residents and guests of carbon monoxide detector legislation, the danger of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, and simple safeguards to protect you and your family.
According to the National Safety Council, there are between 200 and 300 accidental CO deaths per year. Known as the “silent killer,” CO is an invisible, odorless, and colorless gas created as a product of incomplete combustion. CO enters the body through inhalation, and results in symptoms similar to flu or food poisoning. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, and headaches. High levels of carbon monoxide can be fatal in minutes.
The Town of Ocean City passed legislation in February 5, 2007, that requires the installation of carbon monoxide in newly constructed one and two family dwellings as well as new and existing multi family dwellings where fuel burning equipment is installed or operated. Fuel burning equipment could be a gas water heater, furnace, dryers, fireplaces, wood stoves, or engine exhaust. A 24-month grace period was given from the date of code adoption, which has expired. Those buildings found not in compliance with the carbon monoxide requirements are subject to a $1,000 municipal infraction for each violation.
Carbon monoxide detectors are mandated by the Building Code to be installed in existing one and two family dwellings within the Town of Ocean City. To protect your family, the Ocean City Fire Marshals Office recommends the installation of a listed CO detector in a central location outside of all sleeping areas if your home contains any fuel burning equipment. CO detectors should be tested monthly and the batteries should be replaced, according to the manufacturers’ recommendations, which is typically twice a year.
In addition to installing CO detectors in your home, it is important to have all fuel burning equipment serviced annually by a professional. Do not operate fuel-burning engines indoors.
Lastly, if you believe you or your family have been exposed to CO, or if
your CO detector sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location and call 911. Remain in fresh air until emergency personnel have rendered the situation safe.
“If you or your family have any questions regarding carbon monoxide detector legislation, general questions about carbon monoxide detectors, or carbon monoxide poisoning, please contact my office at 410-289-9790,” said Fire Marshal Sam Villani.
For the specific carbon monoxide coe requirement, a brochure and certificate of installation, Villani advised visiting the town’s website.