According to the CDC at least 430 people die in the U.S. from accidental Carbon Monoxide (or CO) poisoning every year. Approximately 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency department each year due to accidental CO poisoning. There are steps you can take to help protect yourself and your household from CO poisoning.
Those are scary statistics, and a reason we always encourage home owners to invest in CO detectors. At least one CO detector should be installed on each floor of your home. And most importantly, install a CO detector inside or directly outside each sleeping areas if they are far apart or on different levels of the home. The effects of CO are nearly impossible to detect when sleeping.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon Monoxide, or “CO,” is often called an invisible killer because it is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas that can cause you great harm. It cannot be detected by humans without the help of a detector.
Where is CO found?
CO is found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel in vehicles, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, water heaters, gas ranges, or furnaces. CO can build up and poison people and animals who breathe it.
What are symptoms of CO poisoning?
The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like” so it’s easy to pass symptoms off for something else. People can also succumb to CO poisoning with very little discomfort. They may fall asleep, have loss of consciousness and, in extreme cases, die of exposure.
How Can I Prevent CO?
Where NOT To Install A Carbon Monoxide Detector
• Near gas or fossil fuel areas to avoid false CO detection
• In humid or moist areas like bathrooms
• In direct sunlight as it could overheat
• Within reach of children to avoid easily tampering or damaging
• Near windows or windy areas
• Behind doors, cabinets, curtains or other areas to prevent CO detection
If you suspect CO poisoning, call 911 or a health care professional right away.
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