Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that is toxic to humans and animals. It can be found in fumes produced by various sources including portable generators, wood burning fireplaces, charcoal grills, cars, gas ranges and other fuel-burning appliances. Toxic levels of this gas can be reached if these sources are malfunctioning or not vented appropriately. Carbon Monoxide poisoning is more common during winter months when many people use alternative methods to heat their homes. Since you can’t see, smell or taste CO, it is impossible to know if your home is at risk.
Here are some tips to help keep you and your family safe this winter:
- Make sure you have properly functioning CO detectors in your home
- Have your chimney inspected and cleaned prior to use
- Do not use unvented gas or kerosene space heaters, especially in small spaces
- Never use a gas stove to heat your home
- Never keep your car running inside the garage
- Become familiar with the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning: dizziness, headaches, rapid heartbeat, nausea, weakness, confusion, shortness of breath, seizures, coma/death
If you think you may have been exposed to Carbon Monoxide or are experiencing any symptoms, get to fresh air immediately! Please go to the Emergency Department for further testing and treatment. For more information about CO poisoning and prevention, visit one of our offices today.