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News Release
For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Jackie Ziemianski



Free Carbon Monoxide Detection is Available to Qualified Residents as Part of 11-County Program

PITTSBURGH, PA (February 23, 2016) - As people in Southwestern Pennsylvania are reminded to "spring ahead" to Daylight Savings Time on Sunday, March 13, many local fire departments will remind residents to change the batteries in their home smoke alarms. Peoples is taking this timely opportunity to also remind people about the importance of carbon monoxide detectors and the potential dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and potentially dangerous gas produced when fuel is burned without enough air for complete combustion. The flame in gas appliances should be blue, possibly with flecks of orange If the flame is mostly yellow, it indicates that the gas is not burning properly and is giving off carbon monoxide. During cold weather months, as buildings remain closed and fuel is burned for heating, inefficient combustion and poor ventilation can lead to a build-up of carbon monoxide inside.

Carbon monoxide can also be emitted by space heaters and automobile engines. In large amounts, the gas can cause headaches, unconsciousness, brain damage and even death. Carbon monoxide can be detected with a simple home monitor that plugs into a standard wall outlet. It's important, also, for people to recognize the signs and symptoms of potential carbon monoxide poisoning, to know what to do if they occur, and to learn how to prevent this dangerous hazard.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Include:

  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness/fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Irregular breathing
  • Overall paleness
  • Very red lips and ears

What You Should Do:

  • Open windows and doors
  • Move outside
  • Call 911 or your local fire department

Steps You Can Take to Prevent Carbon Monoxide:

  • Have your appliances checked annually by a certified heating contractor
  • Make sure your chimney is cleaned periodically and free of obstructions
  • Keep air vents for your gas appliances clear
  • Never use a gas oven or stovetop for heating your home
  • Do not use portable charcoal or propane grills indoors
  • Do not run an automobile or gasoline engine in an enclosed space
  • Use only space heaters that are approved by local fire codes and properly installed
  • Check fireplaces for closed or blocked flues
  • Periodically check range pilots for soot or carbon build up

Residents in 11 Counties May Qualify for a Free Carbon Monoxide Detector:
The Allegheny Health Department manages a "Lead Paint and Healthy Homes" program covering 11 counties in Southwestern PA. Customers must be within 300% of the federal poverty level to participate in the program, which includes a free home inspection for lead paint, carbon monoxide, radon and other hazards. Visit www.achd.net/lead/index.html for program details.


Carbon monoxide poisoning graphic from Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Additional downloadable materials are available at www.cdc.gov.

About Peoples:
Peoples is the largest natural gas distribution company in Pennsylvania. It provides reliable and low cost natural gas service to approximately 700,000 homes and businesses in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky. The company's mission is to improve the lives of its customers and to help build long-term economic growth for the region. For more information about Peoples, visit www.peoples-gas.com

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