MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison firefighters are installing free carbon monoxide alarms in 100 homes before Christmas.
The free alarms were provided through a grant from the MGE Foundation and will go to people enrolled in Madison's Meals on Wheels program.
The fire department says it's important for everyone to check carbon monoxide alarms regularly, at least once a month. Keep fresh batteries in alarms and make sure you know what the alarm sounds like when the battery is low.
The State of Wisconsin requires CO alarms on all floors of a single-family home and two-unit dwellings. The detectors are also required in other types of housing.
Here are some other tips and reminders from the City of Madison Fire Department:
- CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions for placement and mounting height.
- Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
- Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it. If it still sounds,
- If anyone is feeling ill or having flu-like symptoms (nausea, headache, dizziness) leave the house immediately and call 911
- If there are no signs of illness, turn off any fuel-burning equipment, open windows to bring fresh air into the home, and call your utility company or a heating contractor to inspect your system for problems
- If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.
- During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
- A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.
- Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO — only use outside.