Be proactive about carbon monoxide poisoning at home!


By pH health care professionals

Each year, at least 430 people in the U.S. die due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, and around 50,000 people visit the emergency department because of it, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. However, carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable! Being proactive about carbon monoxide (CO) could save your life.

Power outage after a storm? Watch your CO

Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen when bad weather hits. Power outages cause many people to use alternative power sources, which, in some circumstances, can cause carbon monoxide to build up in the home.

Carbon monoxide is found in the fumes of portable generators, stoves, lanterns, gas ranges, or by burning charcoal or wood. The CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces, the CDC warns.

But don’t worry. There are ways you can reduce CO and protect you and your family from CO poisoning. Here are the CDC’s top tips for carbon monoxide safety:

  • Change the batteries in your CO detector every six months. If you don't have a battery-powered or battery back-up CO detector, buy one soon.

  • Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.

  • Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open, unless the equipment is professionally installed and vented. Keep vents and flues free of debris, especially if winds are high. Flying debris can block ventilation lines.

  • Never use a gas range or oven to heat a home. Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.

  • Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.

  • If conditions are too hot or too cold, seek shelter with friends or at a community shelter.

  • If CO poisoning is suspected, consult a health care professional right away.

So what are the signs of CO poisoning?

The common symptoms to watch for include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion, the CDC says. People who are sleeping or have been drinking alcohol can die from CO poisoning before they experience symptoms.

Remember to check your carbon monoxide detector and exercise proactive carbon monoxide safety!

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, health care attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. To learn more about the pH Health Care Team, click here.


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