Each building in Colorado is required by law to have at least one smoke detector. Ideally they should be located in each bedroom, the hallway, and at the top of all stairways. Smoke rises, so the best place to install a detector is on the ceiling or high on an inside wall approximately 6-8 inches below the ceiling. However, do not install a smoke detector within three feet of any device that might blow the smoke away.
A battery-operated smoke detector, available at most hardware stores or building centers is sufficient. Be sure to test the batteries monthly and change them once a year. To test the smoke detector, push the test button, or blow out a candle and hold it up so the smoke reaches the smoke detector. Either method should work. Batteries normally last up to one year, and usually the smoke detector provides an audible indication (a chirping sound) when the batteries become weak. As a reminder, the Basalt Fire Department suggests you change your clock and check your smoke detector batteries in the Spring and/or Fall of every year.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
What is Carbon Monoxide (CO)?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a odorless, colorless gas produced by burning fossil fuels (Fossil fuels include natural gas, coal, kerosene, oil, propane and wood etc). Exposure to lower levels of CO over several hours can be just as dangerous as exposure to higher levels for a few minutes. Download the CO Fact Sheet.
Who Needs a CO Detector?
Single Family Residences
A single family residence, heated by a forced air furnace or a boiler that burns a fossil fuel , should have a carbon monoxide detector within forty (40) feet of all rooms used for sleeping. The carbon monoxide detector should be placed so it will be easily heard in all sleeping areas and should be installed according to manufacturers instructions.
Multiple Family Dwellings and Department Buildings
A multiple family dwelling or apartment building, in which a hot water or steam boiler, that burns a fossil fuel and is located in the basement, must have one approved carbon monoxide detector installed in the room containing the central heating unit. The carbon monoxide detector should be installed according to manufacturers instructions.
Every apartment that has its own warm air heating plant (portable furnaces, space heaters, etc.) that burns a fossil fuel, should have a carbon monoxide detector within forty (40) feet of all rooms used for sleeping. The carbon monoxide detector should be placed so it will easily be heard in all sleeping rooms and should be installed according to the manufacturers instructions.
Who is At Risk?
Those most at risk are:
- Elderly people
- People with lung or heart disease
- Pregnant woman
Signs and symptoms of CO poisoning include:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Dizziness, confusion
- Difficulty breathing
If prolonged exposure continues, LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS, COMA and ultimately DEATH will occur.
Do you have any of these fuel burning appliances?
- Gas furnace
- Gas water heater
- Wood burning stove
- Gas range or oven
- Gas dryer
- Kerosene heaters
- Charcoal/gas grill
- Lawn mower
- Snow blower
- Chain saw
Dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can occur if these appliances are improperly installed, maintained or damaged, and if they are malfunctioning or improperly used/ventilated. Furnaces, water heaters, wood stoves and chimneys should be checked yearly by a professional service. This is to ensure proper function and ventilation. Yard equipment (i.e. lawn mowers, snow blowers, etc.) or charcoal/gas grills should never be used inside the home.
What to do if your CO detector goes off:
- Get out!
- As you leave, turn off fuel burning appliances if possible
- Get fresh air
- Call 911
- Seek medical attention if you have signs & symptoms of CO poisoning
- Don’t go back into the building until cleared by the fire department