Learn your risk: Carbon Monoxide named “silent killer” in homes

Encore Years

CO Facts:

  • CO is called the “silent killer” because it’s a colorless, odorless and invisible poisonous gas.
  • Breathing in CO at high levels can be fatal.
  • More than 400 people in the U.S. die every year from accidental nonfire-related CO poisoning associated with consumer products, including generators.  More than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized.
  • Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning.  Infants, the elderly, people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems are more likely to get sick from CO.
    • Other CO sources:
      • Exhaust fumes from motor vehicles, machines and tools.  Never warm up your vehicle in the garage.
      • Improperly-used or incorrectly-vented-fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fireplaces.
    • CO Symptoms:
      • Flu-like symptoms
      • Headache
      • Fatigue
      • Shortness of breath
      • Nausea
      • Dizziness
    • High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:
      • Mental confusion
      • Vomiting
      • Loss of muscular coordination
      • Loss of consciousness
      • Ultimately death

Safety Tips:

  • Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.
  • Place your detector where it will wake you up if it alarms, such as outside your bedroom.
  • Replace CO alarms every 5 years or as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors (such as kerosene).
  • Never use a gas range or oven for heating.  This practice can cause CO to build up in your home, cabin or camper.
  • Never burn charcoal indoors.  Burning charcoal – red, gray, black or white – gives off CO.
  • Generators should always be used outside the home, well away from windows and vented properly.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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