CO Poisoning is Preventable
This is a full transcript of the online presentation.
Carbon monoxide or CO is a poisonous gas that cannot be seen, smelled or tasted.
Potential health effects of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to those of the flu and allergies. Signs of low-level carbon monoxide poisoning may include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, confusion, tiredness, weakness, sleepiness, tightness in the chest, and trouble breathing or shortness of breath. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. If high levels are breathed, death can occur within minutes.
Sources of Carbon Monoxide (CO) can potentially be found throughout your house. CO is produced by fuel-burning appliances that make heat using oil, coal, wood, or gas which includes natural gas and liquid propane gas. Most gas appliances put in and taken care of properly are safe and produce very little CO, but… gas appliances not working properly, can produce a lot of CO. Electric appliances do not burn fuel, so do not produce CO. Some sources of carbon monoxide poisoning are: fuel-burning machinery, such as generators or barbecue grills, used indoors or used outside without proper ventilation; car exhaust fumes entering the house from the garage or carport; fuel-burning appliances, such as furnaces or water heaters, that are not working properly or have a blocked exhaust system; gas or wood-burning fireplaces with a clogged chimney or a blocked chimney opening.
To prevent Carbon Monoxide poisoning at home: Never use a gas range or oven to heat your home. Never run your car in a closed or open garage. Never run a generator, lawn mower, power washer, or any diesel or gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, carport or other enclosed structure. Never use a charcoal or gas grill, hibachi, or camping lantern or portable stove inside your home, tent or camper. Make sure all fuel-burning appliances are vented to the outdoors. Replace dirty air filters in heating and cooling systems. Make sure fuel-burning appliances are installed by a professional, are working properly and have good ventilation. In addition, have a qualified professional check all fuel-burning appliances, furnaces, venting and chimney systems at least once a year.
To prevent Carbon Monoxide poisoning while boating: Swim, play, sit, and shower away from areas where the boat engine or generator vent their exhaust. This includes on or under the swim platform where exhaust outlets are located unless the area has been properly ventilated. Always have a responsible adult watch children closely when they play on rear swim decks or water platforms. Never block exhaust outlets. Blocking outlets can cause CO to build up in the cabin and cockpit areas–even when hatches, windows, portholes, and doors are closed. The early symptoms of CO poisoning can be mistaken for seasickness. Treat symptoms of seasickness as possible CO poisoning. Get the individual into fresh air immediately. And as with preventing CO poisoning in your home, make sure fuel-burning appliances are installed by a professional, are working properly and have good ventilation.
In addition, working CO alarms can alert you and your family to carbon monoxide in your home or boat. Install a carbon monoxide alarm with a battery backup. Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed near sleeping areas. Try to put them on every floor of the home to provide extra protection. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for carbon monoxide alarms. Test them frequently, and replace dead batteries. Alarms should be replace every 5 years. Carbon monoxide alarms should make a loud noise when carbon monoxide levels become too high. Treat all alarm soundings as an emergency. Never ignore an alarm sounding. Remember that carbon monoxide alarms may provide additional protection from carbon monoxide poisoning, but they should not replace steps to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you think there may be carbon monoxide in your home: Go outside right away to get fresh air. Call 9-1-1 immediately from a phone outside the home if someone has collapsed or is not breathing. Otherwise, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 from a phone outside the home. Do not go back into the home until the problem has been fixed.
Remember Carbon Monoxide Poisoning is Preventable