Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer
What is carbon monoxide?
Do you know why Carbon monoxide is called the “Invisible Killer”? It's because you can not see, smell or taste it. Hundreds of Americans die each year from accidental CO poisoning. These deaths are connected to products like portable generators, furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, ranges, etc. If not properly installed, vented or have faulty equipment, they can also be related to CO poisoning.
Symptoms of CO poisoning
Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission
The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever). They include:
- Shortness of breath
High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:
- Mental confusion
- Loss of muscular coordination
- Loss of consciousness
- Ultimately death
Protect Your Family
Source: US Fire Administration
- Install and maintain CO alarms inside your home to provide early warning of CO.
- Install CO alarms in a central location outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of your home.
- Use portable generators outdoors in well ventilated areas away from all doors, windows and vents.
- Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.