Carbon Monoxide Detector Program

What Is Carbon Monoxide & Where Does It Come From?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas that is created when fossil fuels like coal or gasoline burn incompletely. It can be generated in a room heater, furnace, charcoal grill, range, water heater, automobile or fireplace.

Indications of CO Problems Include:

  • Rusting or water streaking on a vent or chimney,
  • Loose masonry
  • Debris or soot falling from a chimney, fireplace or appliance
  • Loose or missing furnace panel
  • Loose or disconnected vents or chimney connections
  • Corroded or disconnected water heater, flue, or improperly ventilated appliance

How Does It Affect You?

CO replaces oxygen in the blood stream causing suffocation. Many factors affect how a person responds to CO, including age, weight and health levels. Symptoms can range from a slight headache, nausea, and fatigue at low levels to convulsions, unconsciousness, and heart and lung failure at extreme levels. Any unexplained symptoms such as these should be taken as a serious warning.

Checklist for CO Safety:

  • Make sure appliances are installed by professionals and according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • Have the heating system, including the chimneys and vents, inspected and serviced annually.
  • Follow all manufacturer's directions for safe operation.
  • Examine vents and chimneys regularly for improper connections, visible rust or stains.
  • Be aware of any problems that might suggest improper appliance operation.
  • Always be aware of proper ventilation.
  • Have your vehicle inspected for exhaust leaks and never warm up or run a car in the garage.
  • Do not use ovens or gas ranges to heat a home.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Report any triggering of the CO alarm.
  • If anyone shows any signs of CO poisoning in connection with a detector alarm, have everyone leave the building right away, leaving doors open as you go. Use a neighbor's telephone to report the CO alarm to the fire department.

Does the Chesapeake Fire Department Provide CO Detectors?

The Chesapeake Fire Department is committed to helping people in need keep their homes safe. To determine if you qualify for a free carbon monoxide detector, you may contact the Chesapeake Fire Department Fire Prevention Division at 757-382-6566 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You may qualify for this grant if you meet the following criteria:

  1. A resident/homeowner of the City of Chesapeake
  2. Annual income based on the number of people in the home, this rate can change year to year so please call for updated information
  3. Other demographic information

These qualifications are determined by the federal grant program that provides the funds for us to purchase them. Chesapeake Fire Department will install the detector in the proper location for your home as well as provide batteries to qualified homeowners.