Carbon Monoxide, also, known as CO, is called the “invisible killer” because it is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. More than 150 people in the United 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.
It is important to understand the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide 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 CO poisoning are similar to the flu, without a fever, including:
- Shortness of breath
More severe and high level poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:
- Mental confusion
- Loss of muscular coordination
- Loss of consciousness
- Ultimately death
A few safety tips is to install and test Carbon Monoxide alarms, generators should always be used outside of the home, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of debris and remove vehicles from garages immediately after starting.
For additional information, visit www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/carbon_ monoxide.html or call the Spalding County Fire Department at 770-228-2129.