How To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Temperatures are colder now, and we’re all using our furnaces, which means we face an increased chance of gas leaks. Do you remember the last time you changed the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector? If not, your family could be at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 400 people in the United States die from this condition per year. That’s why you need to know how to keep your family safe.

 

Here’s a quick rundown on carbon monoxide.

 

What is carbon monoxide?

 

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that has neither color nor odor. It’s often made as a byproduct of vehicles and appliances, such as furnaces.

 

How can you prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?

 

Although carbon monoxide is deadly, it won’t pose much risk to your family if you’re careful. You should …

 

Have items such as furnaces, water heaters, and any coal or gas-burning appliances serviced by professionals every year.

 

Keep your fireplace maintained. Have a technician check and clean it every year, and always remember to keep the damper open when a fire is lit.

 

Never run your vehicle inside an attached garage, even if the door is open.

 

Install battery-powered carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home, either in or near the sleeping areas. Remember to change the batteries at the beginning and end of Daylight Savings time.

 

 Never try to heat your home with a gas oven.

 

Only use devices that run on gasoline or charcoal outside and keep them more than 20 feet from an open window.

 

Learn more about carbon monoxide poisoning here.

 

What should you do if your carbon monoxide detector beeps?

 

Gather everyone in your home and run outside immediately. Then, call 911, especially if you or a loved one is feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or nauseous. Those are mild signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Severe symptoms include confusion, loss of muscle control, vomiting, and unconsciousness.