SAFETY TIP: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

SAFETY TIP: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
SAFETY TIP: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas known as the “silent killer.” The Centers for Disease Control estimates that carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning claims nearly 400 lives and causes more than 20,000 visits to hospital emergency departments annually.

Rural Metro Fire offers these tips to help protect your family from CO poisoning:

  • Have home heating systems (including chimneys and vents) inspected and serviced annually by a trained service technician
  • Never use portable generators inside homes or garages, even if doors and windows are open
  • Never use a gas range or oven for heating
  • Open the fireplace damper before lighting a fire and keep it open until the ashes are cool
  • Install battery-operated CO alarms outside each sleeping area

Because CO is odorless, colorless and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, people may not know when they are exposed. The initial symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu, but without the fever. They include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
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