Freezing Winter Temperatures Heighten Risk of Silent Killer Carbon Monoxide
10 Tips To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
In 2014, the media headlined Mark Balelo Dead: ‘Storage Wars’ Star Dies At 40 (HuffPost). It was ruled a suicide.
Almost two months later, headlines again focused on carbon monoxide poisoning with ‘Buckwild’ Star Shain Gandee Died Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (HuffPost). It was accidental and took the life of not only Shain Gandee but two other passengers.
Carbon monoxide is winter’s “silent killer.” With temperatures reaching below zero or hovering just above in much of the country this month, California Poison Control System offers tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Trying to keep warm kills more than 500 Americans each year and sickens many others.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas undetectable to the human senses, so people often don’t know that they are being exposed.
Products typically involved in poisonings include malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, ranges, water heaters, room heaters; engine-powered equipment such as portable generators; fireplaces; and charcoal that is burned in homes and other enclosed areas.
Symptoms range from headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness to confusion, vomiting, muscular coordination loss, and consciousness loss.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen slowly or swiftly onset depending on circumstances. California Poison Control, to raise public awareness, offers ten tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
1. Have all heating equipment installed properly, and have your home’s heating system inspected by a professional before turning the heat on when cold weather begins.
2. Carbon monoxide detectors, like the One Link, should be installed in all homes and apartments.
When a detector goes off, assume that real danger is present and immediately get all people and pets out of the structure.
Do not re-enter the home until a heating professional, gas company, or fire department has declared the area safe.
3. Ensure that appliance vents and chimneys are not blocked by tarps or debris during home renovations.
Make sure appliances are in proper working order when renovations are complete.
4. Do not cover the bottom of natural gas or propane ovens with aluminum foil.
Doing so blocks the combustion air flow through the appliance and can produce carbon monoxide.
5. Never use portable fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home, garage, vehicle, or tent unless it is specifically designed for use in an enclosed space and provides instructions for safe use in such an area.
6. In climates with snow, make sure that chimneys and vents do not become blocked by snowfall.
7. Never operate a portable generator or any other gasoline engine-powered tool in or near an enclosed space such as a garage, house, or other building or outside an open window.
Keep the generator as far from the house as possible.
8. Do not use charcoal or hibachi grills indoors to cook with or for heat under any circumstances.
9. Do not attempt to heat your home by turning on the oven or clothes dryer and leaving the door open.
10. Never let a car engine run inside a closed space such as a garage.
After starting the car, drive out promptly and turn the car engine off as soon as you drive into an enclosed space.
Never have a garage door closed with a running vehicle inside, even for a few seconds.
An environmental monitor like the First Alert Onelink GLOCO wi-fi monitor helps keep your family safe.
It’s pint-sized. The safety that fits in the palm of your hand.
The First Alert Onelink GLOCO Wi-Fi Environment Monitor offers an easy setup and a simple way to track the temperature, humidity, and carbon monoxide levels in a room.
I think it looks like a miniature Storm Trooper Helmet.
The monitor tells you at a glance if the room is too hot, too cold, or if carbon monoxide has been detected.
It also sends notifications to your iPhone or iPad through a downloaded app.
Ideal for checking on conditions in a baby’s room without disturbing a nap or keeping track of a vacation house, the Onelink Environment Monitor keeps an eye on things when you can’t.
I received a OneLink in exchange for this post. All opinions remain my own.