First Alert and NVFC Team Up to Offer Carbon Monoxide Safety Training Course and Free Alarms

The online course, designed for volunteer fire departments, and corresponding carbon monoxide alarm donation aim to increase CO safety across the country

Carbon monoxide (CO), also known as the “silent killer,” is especially dangerous because you cannot see, smell, or taste it. The only way to protect against this potentially deadly threat is with a CO alarm. In honor of CO Awareness Month in November, First Alert and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have partnered to create an online CO awareness and CO alarm training course for volunteer fire departments nationwide, supplemented by an alarm donation program for communities in need.

Called Protect Against the Silent Killer, the course virtually trains fire department personnel about the prevalence and symptoms of CO poisoning and proper CO alarm installation to help reduce the risk of CO incidents and deaths in communities across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency room each year due to accidental CO poisoning and 4,000 are hospitalized.

Awareness of CO poisoning is coming at a crucial time as winter approaches. According to the CDC, two-fifths of CO exposure occurs during December, January, and February. While almost all homes have at least one smoke alarm, only two out of five households said that they have a working CO alarm, according to the American Housing Survey. Current National Fire Protection Association guidelines recommend installing CO alarms on each level of the home, including the basement, and near every sleeping area.

“Installing and properly maintaining CO alarms is the best way to keep your family protected against this potentially deadly threat,” said Tarsila Wey, director of marketing for First Alert, the most trusted brand in fire safety.* “We are proud to play a role in helping firefighters and communities expand their knowledge about CO poisoning and are glad that our educational tools directly impact their community risk reduction efforts.”

As temperatures begin to drop and people continue to spend more time at home, it is crucial that CO alarms are installed throughout the home and that everyone is aware of the signs of CO poisoning. The training provides insight about how CO is created, the dangers it presents, and the symptoms and risk factors of CO poisoning. The course offers detailed information on proper installation of CO alarms, appropriate in-home placement, and maintenance. Presenters also emphasize the importance of alarm and battery replacement and discuss the various types of CO alarms.

To complement the training, the first 20 students that completed the course also received 25 complimentary First Alert CO alarms. Their fire departments will receive the donated alarms in 2021 for distribution within their communities to enhance the safety of their neighbors. (Note, this donation has already been met.)

“We value the dedication of all the firefighters and EMS providers who work tirelessly to keep their communities safe from the threats of CO,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “Having access to this comprehensive training, along with First Alert’s generous alarm donation, helps to keep fire departments up-to-date on best practices and better equips them to educate their communities.”

The Protect Against the Silent Killer training is now available in the NVFC Virtual Classroom. Access the course here. The course will be free all of November (up to 500 participants), compliments of First Alert, so sign up today! For more information on home safety, go to

*First Alert Brand Trust Survey, February 2020 – Results are based on the responses of 1,000 adults, ages 25 and older, living in the United States who completed an online survey. Results are statistically significant at a 95 percent confidence level and can be generalized to the entire adult population in the United States within those statistical parameters. For more information or a copy of the complete survey results, contact Tim Young at LCWA: 312/565-4628 or

About BRK Brands, Inc.
BRK Brands, Inc. (Aurora, IL), is a fully owned subsidiary of Newell Brands. For more than 60 years, BRK Brands, Inc. has been the manufacturer of First Alert®-branded home-safety products, the most trusted and recognized safety brand in America. BRK® Brands designs and develops innovative safety solutions including a comprehensive line of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and escape ladders to protect what matters most. Such products are also marketed under the BRK Electronics® brand, The Professional Standard for the builder and contractor audiences. BRK Brands, Inc. products are found in more than 30 countries worldwide. For more information, visit, or

About Newell Brands
Newell Brands (NASDAQ: NWL) is a leading global consumer goods company with a strong portfolio of well-known brands, including Paper Mate®, Sharpie®, Dymo®, EXPO®, Parker®, Elmer’s®, Coleman®, Marmot®, Oster®, Sunbeam®, FoodSaver®, Mr. Coffee®, Rubbermaid Commercial Products®, Graco®, Baby Jogger®, NUK®, Calphalon®, Rubbermaid®, Contigo®, First Alert®, Mapa®, Spontex® and Yankee Candle®. Newell Brands is committed to enhancing the lives of consumers around the world with planet friendly, innovative and attractive products that create moments of joy and provide peace of mind. Additional information about Newell Brands is available on the company’s web site,

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About the National Volunteer Fire Council
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides critical resources, programs, education, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Learn more at