WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2013
Blog By: Dustin Lano
According to the American Medical Association, there are about 450 deaths and 20,000 emergency room visits attributable to carbon monoxide poisoning each year. The majority of these happen in the winter months. That’s because this colorless, odorless gas is produced by incomplete combustion of fuel-burning devices, and faulty furnaces can often be the source.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, drowsiness and even nausea. Getting outside to fresh air immediately is advisable if you suspect you’ve been breathing carbon monoxide. Unfortunately, many victims die in their sleep, never knowing they were being poisoned.
Regular furnace checks are a good idea and devices that don’t vent to the outside should never be run in a confined area. For example, in the aftermath of events that caused power outages, people have died from running portable generators in their homes.
The best defense may be to have carbon monoxide detectors in your home. These will detect levels low enough to warn you before you have a life threatening situation. These range in price from about $25 to $50. That’s a very small price for the peace of mind they bring.