S.O.G. No.: 01-016

Revision: Oct 2005, Nov 2006

Effective Date: Feb 1996


1.1 In the interest of the public at large & our department member’s health and safety, this document is established to provide guidelines maintaining safe atmospheric environments.


2.1 Union Fire District Board of Wardens Policy


3.1 The department shall initiate, upon request, proper atmospheric readings to determine the safety of the environment and make appropriate recommendations in accordance with OSHA.


  1. 4.1  Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, tasteless, colorless gas that is deadly. It is a by-product of a fuel burning process. It can cause symptoms that can mimic flu and can cause unconsciousness and even death. Many appliances in the home are capable of producing carbon monoxide when a faulty or unusual condition exists. Since the source may be transient in nature, the source may not always be detectable.
  2. 4.2  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established a maximum safe working level for carbon monoxide at 35 parts per million (ppm) over an 8 hour period in the general workplace. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established that residential levels are not to exceed 9 ppm over an 8 hour average.

4.3 Upon receiving the call from dispatch, ask the following questions: Have all occupants exited the building?

Are any of the occupants feeling ill, have headaches, or difficulty breathing? dispatch send EMS personnel.

Are all the doors and windows closed in the house?

Upon arrival:
Be sure the occupants are safe and feeling well.

Ask occupants about possible sources of danger (type of fuel used, fireplace, attached garage, etc.).

Turn on CO meter and be sure it is functioning properly.

Enter the structure with meter in hand. If meter starts to rise quickly, place meter in the house and exit the building.


  1. 4.4.1  Start meter in fresh air so that the meter reading is zero. Comply with all other start up procedures as recommended by the manufacturer of the metering equipment.
  2. 4.4.2  Initiate a survey of the premises to determine if there are any amounts of

CO above 9 ppm of CO present using the check list.
If any amounts above 7 ppm of CO call for another meter to verify reading, and return wearing personal protective equipment, to include SCBA.

4.4.3 If any amount is in excess of 35 ppm of CO are found the personnel on scene shall call dispatch for a “signal 100” for the nearest station

If a faulty appliance is found, attempt to shut it down or notify the proper utility company.

Ventilate the building.

Levels between 0 and 5 ppm should be considered safe. In this instance, inform occupants to replace or repair their CO meter.

Upon completions of your investigation:
4.5 Inform dispatch of conditions found and fill out a report