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Health District

Posted on: February 25, 2022

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

News Flash 11 (6)

During Winter, the risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning is higher. This is because CO is found in fumes produced by common items used during the winter months, such as stoves, fireplaces, gas ranges, generators and furnaces. 

Symptoms to watch for

CO can be a silent killer because it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. It is important to have a functioning carbon monoxide detector, but it is also important to know the signs and symptoms to watch for. 

Symptoms are often described as "flu-like". This includes headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. If you and others in your home begin showing similar symptoms this may be a clue that it is caused by an environmental factor such as CO. 

How to prevent CO poisoning

  • Install and regularly test CO detectors in your home. These detectors need to be replaced every 5 years (unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer). 
  • If you live in a rental property it is especially important to ensure the safety equipment in the unit is updated and functioning as you may not know the last time the equipment was tested, and appliances were serviced by a qualified technician.  
  • Don't misuse gas appliances in enclosed spaces. Only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows. 
  • Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home. 
  • Only run your car in open air environments, especially not inside a closed garage.  

Who is at risk from CO poisoning?

  • Everyone is at risk of CO poisoning.
  • Infants, the elderly, and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems are more likely to get sick from CO. 
  • Pets can also become sick from CO. This may present as lethargy when within the home.  

If you suspect you have a leak... 
STOP using all appliances, switch them off, open doors and windows, and evacuate the property. 
(This includes evacuating your pets as well as humans)

Learn more online at www.cdc.gov/co and Ready.gov

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