Over four hundred individuals die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning ever year in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, more than 20,000 people go to the emergency room because carbon monoxide. December and January are the most common months for CO poisonings, therefore, how can we prevent this?
A simple solution for homes is carbon monoxide detectors. Installing and maintaining these detectors are like having smoke alarms and in fact, some smoke alarms come with a carbon monoxide combination. These detectors can save lives but according to the National Safety Council (NSC), less than one-third of American homes have one installed. If you do install one, NSC recommends replacing the battery each spring and fall.
The NSC and CDC offers these tips for preventing carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Do not heat your home with a gas range or oven
- Never run a car or truck inside an attached garage
- Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year
- Do not use portable flame-less chemical heaters indoors
- Never use a generator inside your home, basement or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door or vent; fatal levels of carbon monoxide can be produced in just minutes
- Have your chimney checked and cleaned every year, and make sure your fireplace damper is open before lighting a fire and well after the fire is extinguished
- Make sure your gas appliances are vented properly
- Never use a gas oven for heating your home
- Never let a car idle in the garage
- Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
Remember, carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas so it is hard to detect. Many people get carbon monoxide poisoning in their sleep. It is important to take steps to prevent poisoning and have reliable detection devices.
One Team. One Vision. One Goal. – Everyone Goes Home Safe!