According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year more than 400 people die in the U. S. from accidental, non-fire related carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
CO found in combustion fumes can result in the poisoning, sudden illness, loss of consciousness, and death from inhaling this odorless, colorless gas.
How to Recognize CO Poisoning
The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Remember, people who are sleeping or who have been drinking alcohol can die from CO poisoning before ever having symptoms.
Important CO Poisoning Prevention Tips
If CO poisoning is suspected, call 911 or your local Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222, or consult a health care professional right away. Follow these tips to prevent CO poisoning:
- Never use a gas range or oven to heat a home;
- Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage;
- Never use a generator, pressure washer, grill, or any or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning or powered device inside your home, basement, or garage, or less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent;
- Use a battery-powered or battery backup CO detector in your home;
- Check detector batteries at least twice annually, at the same time smoke detector batteries are checked;
- Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper or even outside near an open window; and
- If conditions are too hot or too cold, seek shelter with friends or at a community shelter.
WATCH OUT FOR CARBON MONOXIDE!
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