Do you think about your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms?  WE DO !

In the past week, Graafschap Fire Department has responded to two separate carbon monoxide (CO) alarm incidents. Most of the time, the cause for an alarm is a bad battery or a malfunctioning alarm.

In one of these recent incidents, an entire family was saved by their CO alarms sounding in the middle of the night. They had a fan running in the utility room to dry out a water leak, which disrupted the exhaust on the water heater. The second family had a grandchild mistakenly turn on the furnace boiler, which had a partially blocked chimney. Both familes were alerted by their carbon monoxide alarms, potentially saving their lives. In each case, firefighters eliminated the source and ventilated the home bringing CO levels down so the residents were able to return. Firefighters also used a newly aquired monitor that checks the CO levels in a patients blood stream to evaluate all the occupants. Between these two homes, 9 lives were saved by their working, properly installed alarms.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), carbon monoxide is an 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 can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. For more facts on CO from the NFPA, click HERE. (

Graafschap Fire Department offers a FREE smoke and CO alarm program. The alarms are provided from a grant through MI Prevention. ( A Graafschap firefighter will come to your home, evaluate where the alarms should be placed, and then install them properly. If you want to see if you live in the GFD coverage area, click HERE. For more information, call the station at 616-396-4060 or check out the new website at and go to the Community Risk Reduction page.

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