Did you know more than 150 people in the Unites States die every year from accidental non fire-related CO poisoning associated with consumer products, including generators? Other products include faulty, improperly-used or incorrectly-vented fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fireplaces.
November 5th-12th is National CO Poisoning Awareness Week.
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide, also known as CO, is called the “Invisible Killer” because it’s a colorless, odorless poisonous gas which is undetectable to the human senses.
Know the symptoms of CO poisoning
Because CO is odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, people may not know that they are being exposed. 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
What can you do to protect your family from the dangers of CO?
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.
Make sure you have carbon monoxide alarms in your home and test them monthly.
Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, and vents.
Do not use a generator in a wet area. This can cause shock or electrocution.
Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.
Connect appliances to the generator with heavy-duty extension cords.
Do not fuel your generator when it is running. Spilling gas on a hot engine can cause a fire.
Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission