Carbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an invisible odorless gas that is produced by burning wood, coal, charcoal, natural gas, gasoline, propane, and other common fuels. CO can enter your body through breathing and cause CO poisoning, which is potentially fatal. Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, or shortness of breath. If you suspect CO poisoning you should go to a fresh air location and immediately call for help.

Listed below are practices that may help protect you from CO poisoning:

  • If your landlord does not provide a CO detector with the property, install one yourself in a centrally located area outside of the sleeping areas.
  • Insist that your landlord properly maintains all fuel burning appliances.
  • Do not run a vehicle, generator, or other fueled engine or motor indoors or in a garage, even if the doors are open. Make sure exhaust pipes are not covered with snow.
  • Never use an oven to heat your home or apartment.
  • If your house or apartment has a fireplace or wood burning stove, make sure it is properly ventilated into the chimney flue, that the flue is fully open during use, and the chimney is cleaned and inspected once a year.
  • Keep the dryer, stove, furnace and fireplace vents clear of ice, snow, dirt, leaves and other debris.

Fire Safety

A fire in a house or apartment can result in devastating loss of life and property. As a responsible tenant, you should adopt good habits regarding fire safety and prevention.

Listed below are practices that will help ensure the safety of your house/apartment mates as well as your own:

  • Insure that the kitchen and all bedrooms have properly functioning smoke detectors. Make sure all detector batteries are working and intact. Periodically test the smoke detectors to ensure the batteries freshness.
  • Evacuate immediately whenever the complex/building alarm sounds.
  • Familiarize yourself with possible evacuation routes.
  • Do not tamper with or misuse fire extinguishers. Pull fire alarms ONLY in the event of an actual fire.
  • If your landlord does not provide a fire extinguisher with the property, purchase a small extinguisher to place in the kitchen.
  • Do not smoke in bed or while reclining on upholstered furniture. Do not smoke when intoxicated. Properly extinguish all smoking materials. Do not throw cigarette butts in trash bins.
  • Exercise caution when using portable space heaters, and never leave them unattended.
  • Avoid portable space heaters with open heating coils.
  • Do not hang or attach articles such as tapestries, posters, fishnets, etc. to ceilings or other horizontal overhead surfaces. Do not hang or drape articles with the potential to ignite over electrical outlets, smoke detectors, lamps or other items. Do not hang articles from sprinkler pipes or within 18" of any sprinkler head.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets and extension cords. Extension cords should be Underwriter's Laboratory certified and should not trail across open areas of the floor. Extension cords used for refrigerators or air conditioners should be the heavy-duty types with circuit breakers.
  • Avoid halogen lamps.
  • Do not store flammable materials or equipment containing flammable materials (such as camping stoves, lanterns, etc.) indoors.
  • Never leave burning candles or incense unattended. Take precautions with live Christmas trees and be sure that holiday decorations comply with all fire safety regulations.
  • Keep rooms and hallways clear of fire hazards that are created through the accumulation of potentially flammable materials such as newspapers, magazines, boxes, etc.
  • Arrange furniture such that a clear path is maintained from the rooms and through the hallways. Doorways should not be obstructed in any way. Make sure that appliances such as irons, curling irons and stoves are never left unattended while powered on.
  • Do not prop open fire doors.