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Carbon Monoxide Prevention and Symptoms

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It is extremely important to make sure you’re aware of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide (CO). This gas is deadly and is known as the “Invisible Killer”. It is not only colorless, but odorless making it very hard to detect.  Many homes’ heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel, can be the sources of CO. It is important to remember to follow these steps to keep you and your family safe!

  • Alarms should be installed in a central location, outside of bedrooms and on each floor of the home. Test these alarms once a month. If the alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outside. Make sure everyone is out of the house and wait for emergency personnel.
  • During or after a snow storm, make sure vents for your dryer, furnace, fireplace, and stove are clear from buildup.
  • If you are using a generator, only use it in a well-ventilated location outdoors and away from windows, doors, and vent openings. Generators tend to produce a lot of Carbon Monoxide gas.
  • Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas or coal-burning appliances serviced annually by a qualified technician.
  • Have your chimney checked and cleaned every year. It is also important to make sure your fireplace damper is open prior to lighting a fire.
  • Never use a gas oven to heat your home – if you are having problems with your heat, please call an HVAC expert.

Although there are many precautions you can take to avoid Carbon Monoxide, it is just as important to know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Low to moderate CO Poisoning Symptoms (very similar to the flu but without a fever):

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

High level of CO Poisoning Symptoms:

  • Mental Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of Muscular Coordination
  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Ultimately Death

If you suspect you or a loved one may have CO Poisoning, consult a health care professional right away!