Insurance and Finance

The $20 Device that Could Save Your Life

By James Mayfield 2.18.15

In colder months, it’s natural for people to spend more time indoors bundled up from the chilly weather. But in addition to extra layers of clothing and flannel blankets, there’s also an increase in the use of items around the house, such as heating and cooking equipment, that’s associated with carbon monoxide (CO) and can have dangerous consequences for your family.

When fuels such as natural gas, propane, or wood burn incompletely, they release CO — a dangerous, odorless, and colorless gas. This poisonous gas can cause trouble quickly if not properly monitored or kept from release.

Thankfully, there’s a $20 device, aka CO detector, homeowners can install to protect against this “silent killer.”

Chris Forgey, a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent based in Tarrant County says, “I think carbon monoxide detector installation is a good idea. Anything people can do to prevent harm to themselves and/or their property is a wise move.”

The Electrical Safety Foundation International recommends the following installation tips regarding a CO detector:

  • Install CO alarms on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area.
  • Interconnected CO alarms provide the best protection. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • CO alarms are not a substitute for smoke alarms. Install both types of alarms in your home.
  • Purchase CO alarms from a reputable retailer that you trust.
  • Choose alarms that bear the label of a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding proper placement and installation height.

In the event of an alarm sounding, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) advises you to “immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel [arrive].”

Educate yourself on smoke alarm safety, while you’re here! See all of our family safety tips on Pinterest.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2015 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance