Orcas Fire Department offers Carbon Monoxide detectors

Thanks to the generosity of San Juan Island EMT Association and the San Juan Island community, Orcas Island Fire and Rescue has received 150 Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors to distribute to residential homes in need.

The detectors were acquired as part of a community fundraising effort launched by a Friday Harbor family after two residents lost their lives to Carbon Monoxide poisoning due to a heating system failure at a Friday Harbor home in 2017. Family, friends and community members rallied together to contribute to the fundraising effort aimed toward increasing carbon monoxide awareness, education and distribution of carbon monoxide detectors for San Juan County households.

Known as the silent killer, Carbon Monoxide claims more than 400 lives annually, according to the Center for Disease Control. Overexposure to the tasteless, odorless, and colorless gas can quickly result in CO poisoning with symptoms ranging from headache, dizziness and nausea, to shortness of breath, weakness, confusion, loss of consciousness and ultimately death.

Carbon Monoxide is produced by common items including gas- and oil-burning furnaces and appliances, portable generators, charcoal grills, and more. Charcoal grills and portable generators should only be used outdoors and kept further than 20-feet away from your home’s doors, windows, and vents. Gas- and oil-burning furnaces should be inspected by certified technicians annually.

Early detection is crucial for an increased chance of survival. Carbon Monoxide detectors keep you and your loved ones alerted to dangerous levels of CO in the air and should be installed on each level of your home and near each sleeping area.

If your family home is in need of a Carbon Monoxide detector, Orcas Island Fire and Rescue would like to help. Contact the Eastsound Fire Station at (360) 376-2331 to learn more.

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