Carbon Monoxide Awareness
We all know that we should have a carbon monoxide detector, but what can you do to avoid it going off in the first place? Sometimes, there's little you can do. That's where the detector comes in. Speaking of, make sure you keep those batteries fresh when you are replacing your smoke detector batteries come daylight savings time start and end.
Each year, an average of 430 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, and there are more than 20,000 visits to the emergency room with more than 4,000 hospitalizations.
Carbon monoxide related deaths are highest during colder months. These deaths are likely due to increased use of gas-powered furnaces and alternative heating, cooking, and power sources used inappropriately indoors during power outages.
So what can you do?
Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Keep these devices at least 20 feet from doors, windows, and vents.
The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire.
Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.
Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.
What are symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning? They may include:
Nausea or vomiting
Shortness of breath
Loss of consciousness
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be especially dangerous for people who are sleeping or intoxicated. People may have irreversible brain damage or even be killed before anyone realizes there's a problem. That's why your alarms are so important. Please be especially cautious during the winter months and remain aware and vigilant.