Arlington County Fire Marshal Urges Residents to Buy, Install, Maintain Carbon Monoxide Alarms

ARLINGTON, Va. – Citing the tragedy in Prince George's County, where five adults apparently were killed Tuesday by carbon monoxide poisoning in an Oxon Hills home, Arlington County Chief Fire Marshal Daniel Fitch today urged residents to buy, install and maintain life-saving carbon monoxide alarms.

“Carbon monoxide is a silent killer,” Fire Marshal Fitch said. “What happened in Prince George's County yesterday is a tragic reminder that smoke alarms are not enough — every home needs to have carbon monoxide alarms. Renters and homeowners need to keep their families safe by testing those alarms once a month and replacing them according to the manufacturer's recommendations.”

The alarms should be on every level of the home, and in central locations outside sleeping areas. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, gas that is a byproduct of combustion. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, and shortness of breath.

What to do if a carbon monoxide alarm sounds in a home:

  • Get outdoors
  • Account for all occupants
  • Call 911 from a fresh air location
  • Stay outside until the fire department checks your home

For more information, visit the websites of the EPA or the National Fire Protection Association, or contact the Arlington County Fire Prevention Office, at 703-228-4644 or You may also find more fire prevention and safety tips on the County website.

Arlington Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the “10 miles square” parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. Slightly smaller than 26 square miles, it is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, and one of only a handful with the prized Aaa/AAA/AAA bond rating. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods and quality schools, and has received numerous awards for Smart Growth and transit-oriented development. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world — including the Pentagon — Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.