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Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

carbon monoxide poisoning sign

Don’t Get Caught By The Silent Killer – How to Stay Safe From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, carbon monoxide (CO) is a common industrial hazard resulting from the incomplete burning of material containing carbon such as natural gas, gasoline, kerosene, oil, coal, wood, or propane. It is a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly if inhaled. It can be present when operating vehicles, small engines, stoves, furnaces, fireplaces, or grills. Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning while more than 20,000 visit the emergency room and 4,000 are hospitalized. Proper CO safety is important for yours and your family’s health. We’ve lined out some important points to remember here:

How to Prevent CO inhalation and poisoning

  1. First and foremost, all homes should have CO detectors installed
  2. Have a qualified DLE technician check your venting system and propane powered appliances annually. Likewise, have your chimneys cleaned and checked on a yearly basis.
  3. Never use portable heaters, grills, or generators inside your home
  4. Never use your stove or oven for heating your home
  5. Never leave a vehicle running in a closed or partially closed garage
  6. Never patch a vent pipe with tape, gum, or something similar. This can trap CO in your home.

Signs and Symptoms of CO inhalation:

  1. You feel like you may have the flu – headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, confusion.
  2. Blurred vision and/or loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing
  3. Those more susceptible to symptoms are: infants, the elderly, and/or those with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems
  4. Acute poisoning can result in permanent damage to parts of your body that require a lot of oxygen. For example, your heart or brain.

If you suspect Carbon Monoxide is present, go outside immediately and call emergency services.

 

carbon monoxide infographic

 

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

To learn more about propane appliances, visit our blog post Learning About Residential Propane Appliances

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