Thursday, December 4, 2014

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

As the weather becomes colder throughout the country, we are reminded of the risks of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning that can occur especially during this time of year. Also known as the quiet killer, CO comes from fumes produced by furnaces, vehicles, portable generators, stoves, lanterns, gas ranges, or burning charcoal or wood. When the fumes become trapped inside the home, it can potentially cost lives.

Now is the time to make sure your homes are equipped with CO detectors. (Don’t forget to replace the batteries on a regular basis- at least once a year!) More than 500 people die each year due to unintentional CO poisoning. By recognizing and preventing CO poisoning, you can help lower the number of unintentional deaths and help save lives.

The scary thing about CO poisoning is that the symptoms are very similar to the flu. Because of this, many people do not realize they have had CO poisoning. The most common symptoms are: headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

What can you do to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?

·         Have your heating and water system (or anything serviced by gas) checked once a year for any problems by a qualified technician.

·         Install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors in your home and change the batteries at least once a year. 

·         Please seek medical attention or call 9-1-1 immediately if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.

·         Do not use camp stoves, generators, grills or anything gasoline or charcoal-burning inside the home or garage.

·         Never leave a vehicle running in the garage.

·         Never heat your home with a gas oven

·         Do not burn anything in a stove or fireplace without ventilation.

Remember, carbon monoxide poisoning IS preventable! Make sure to protect yourself and your family by being prepared and aware. If you think you might have carbon monoxide poisoning, please call the Poison Control Network at 1-800-222-1222. If someone is having life threatening reactions, please do not hesitate to contact 9-1-1. For more information on carbon monoxide poisoning, please visit the CDC website:

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