Over the past year, there have been numerous reported incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning state-wide, reinforcing the dangerous consequences of this gas and the need for safety and precautionary measures. Although many think of carbon monoxide poisoning as a wintertime hazard, CO poisoning is a safety issue all year round wherever and whenever you burn fuel. If you have fire, you have carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide, known as the “invisible killer,” is a colorless, odorless gas. Because it is undetectable to the human senses, you may not know that you are being exposed until it is too late. Plus, carbon monoxide poisoning is difficult to diagnose because symptoms often are mistaken as indicators of other illnesses. Common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, and confusion. Extremely high levels of carbon monoxide inhalation can lead to unconsciousness and even death. Infants and people with chronic heart disease or anemia are particularly susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. So be alert. If you suffer any of these symptoms, address them immediately. It could be carbon monoxide poisoning. The best protection is to install carbon monoxide detectors. They are inexpensive and save lives.
To protect you and your family against carbon monoxide poisoning:
If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, get fresh air immediately and then call 911.
For more information on how to keep you and your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Carbon Monoxide Safety Guide here.