Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas. Several household sources, such as gasoline-powered tools and generators, produce carbon monoxide.
Anything that burns can produce carbon monoxide. The fumes are extremely hazardous and can cause sudden illness or death.
Dangers of Carbon MonoxideCarbon monoxide weakens the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to organs and body tissues.
The gas cannot be seen or smelled, so people often don’t know they are breathing it. Poisoning can occur in minutes.
Nearly everyone is at risk, but carbon monoxide is especially dangerous to infants, women who are pregnant and their unborn children, the elderly and people with heart or breathing problems. It also can affect pets.
Causes of Carbon Monoxide poisoningIn disaster situations, carbon monoxide poisonings usually occur from improperly operated generators.
Fumes from generators can build up in enclosed areas and poison people.
Carbon monoxide poisoning also can occur when gas stoves, lanterns, charcoal grills, gas ranges, gas dryers and hot water heaters, automobiles and heating systems are not used correctly.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning
- severe headache
If you experience any of these, get out of the house and seek medical attention immediately.
- Never use generators or other gasoline or charcoal-burning devices such as grills or heaters inside your home, in a garage, in an enclosed area or outside near an open window.
Generators should be placed at least 10 feet from the home and in a well-ventilated area
- Never use gas ranges or ovens to heat your home
- Never run an automobile in an enclosed space, even in an open garage
- Make sure all appliances are properly installed and maintained
- Install Carbon monoxide detectors in your home especially near bedrooms. Check the batteries every year.
Carbon monoxide detectors work similarly to smoke detectors and can be found at most hardware stores.