Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause serious illness or death. CO is often called the silent killer for these reasons. It is produced whenever fossil fuels are burned including natural gas, gasoline, and charcoal to name a few. The best thing to do is to take measures to prevent CO poisoning to begin with. However, if you experience sudden dizziness, nausea or lightheadedness and suspect CO as a culprit, it’s important to seek medical help immediately.
Preventing CO Poisoning
Preventing CO poisoning is crucial to protecting your family’s health and well-being. Here are some tips to help you prevent CO poisoning.
1. Have your HVAC, water heater and any other gas-powered appliance professionally serviced and checked at least yearly.
2. Don’t use a gas oven to heat up your home.
3. Don’t leave gas-powered space heaters running unattended.
4. Make sure your battery-operated or battery-backup CO detector is working properly. Replace the batteries every time you change the clocks and test it monthly to ensure it is in working order.
5. Never run a vehicle inside the garage, even with the door open.
6. Don’t burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented to the outside.
7. Never use a generator, camp stove, charcoal grill or other fuel-burning device inside your home.
8. Don’t use a generator, power washer or other gas-powered engine within 30 feet of your home.
If your CO detector goes off, get everyone outside (including pets) and then call 911. The fire department will let you know if and when it is safe to re-enter the home. Never ignore or remove the batteries from your CO detector if it goes off. Even small amounts of CO can cause serious illness or death. If you think there may be a CO leak in your home, don’t delay. When in doubt, get out and call for help.