The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning claims the lives of more than 400 Americans each year and makes thousands upon thousands more ill.

Carbon monoxide is a “silent killer”. It’s an odorless, colorless toxic gas that can easily go unnoticed to the human senses.

The dangers of carbon monoxide can be found any time you burn fuel, including when using your vehicle, stove, grill, fireplace, gas range, furnace and many more fuel-burning appliances and engines.

Signs and Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide can poison people and animals who breathe it in. Common signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

Sleeping or intoxicated individuals may not be alerted when exposed to carbon monoxide.

Other vulnerable populations include unborn babies, young children, older adults and people with chronic heart disease or breathing problems.

Carbon Monoxide Precautions

Carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable. Here are some tips to help keep your family safe:

  1. Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Replace the batteries at least twice per year or as recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. Don’t leave your car running in the garage, even if the garage door is open. This is a common overlooked hazard with people attempting to warm their cars during colder months.
  3. Never use a gas range or oven to heat your home. Carbon monoxide can build up in your home, camper or other living space.
  4. Don’t use a generator in an enclosed space. This includes inside your home, basement, garage or less than 20 feet from a window, door or vent.
  5. Have your fuel-burning appliances and chimney serviced each year. Make this part of your routine to keep your home running safely and efficiently.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends additional ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and has numerous resources for home, work and general public education.

To learn how to respond to a variety of medical emergencies, find a Training Center in your area.

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