Carbon Monoxide, or CO, is a toxic gas that is created when fossil fuels are burnt. It has been dubbed “The Invisible Killer” since it has no odor, taste, or color. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports over 400 people die from CO poisoning every year in the United States, and thousands more end up in the emergency room.
Tips for Prevention:
- Change the batteries in your CO detector regularly – we recommend changing them every six months. Having a battery-powered CO detector (or having a battery-backup)
- Test the operation of your CO detector monthly
- Have any fuel-burning appliances in the home serviced by a certified technician annually
- Furnace, stove, hot water tank, etc.
- Keep ventilation lines clear of debris
- Never leave a motor running (car, power washer, generator, etc.) in an enclosed or partially enclosed space such as a garage
Symptoms of CO Poisoning:
- Headaches and dizziness
- Disorientation, confusion
- Muscle weakness and cramps
- Nausea, Flu-like symptoms
These symptoms will clear up when you go outdoors or in areas of clean air. Children and pets are often the first affected by CO poisoning. If you suspect CO poisoning, call 911 or a health care professional right away. CO poisoning is entirely preventable; protect your family by learning the symptoms and preventative steps.