The program's primary goal is to educate the at-risk groups about CO poisoning prevention and detection and fire prevention. The families will be provided a free CO alarm and instruction on the proper maintenance of the alarms.
The alarms will be available at the "Get Alarmed" program:
Wednesday, Aug. 4, 5:30 p.m., Parksley Volunteer Fire Department;
Thursday, Aug. 5, 5:30 p.m., Community Fire Company, Exmore;
The program is for the whole family and will include a brief safety presentation, pizza and drink, a firehouse tour and the free carbon monoxide alarm. Each family will need to complete an application form. Preference will be given to those who have completed and submitted a form and to early arrivals on the day of the program.
In 2008 and 2009, fire departments throughout Virginia responded to approximately 1,000 carbon monoxide exposure-related incidents each year, according to the Virginia Fire Incident Reporting System.
According to the United States Fire Administration, each year in America, CO poisoning claims approximately 500 lives and sends more than 15,000 people to hospital emergency rooms for treatment.
With extremely cold days last winter, there were more frequent use of fuels that can produce carbon monoxide. Often called the "invisible killer," carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels -- such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil and methane -- burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of carbon monoxide. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage or in a basement can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
Call Faye Godbey, Onley Community Health Center, 757-787-7374, ext. 6 for more information.