CDC Warns Against a Winter Danger: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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With much of the United States experiencing colder-than-normal temperatures this winter, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a special media statement about carbon monoxide poisoning prevention.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas produced by furnaces, vehicles, portable generators, stoves, lanterns, gas ranges, and wood stoves. Breathing in high levels of carbon monoxide can cause sudden illness and even death.

According to the CDC, which works with local, state, and national partners to increase awareness about CO poisoning and monitor illnesses and deaths associated with it, here are some steps you can take to reduce your risk for carbon monoxide poisoning this winter:

  • Install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home. Leave the house immediately and call 911 if your CO detector alarm goes off.
  • Get your heating system, water heater, and any gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician each year.
  • Do not heat your house with a gas oven or burn anything in an unvented stove or fireplace.
  • Never run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even with the garage door open.
  • In a power outage, never use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline- or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or outside less than 20 feet from a window, door, or vent.
  • Seek prompt medical attention if you feel dizzy, light-headed, or nauseated and suspect CO poisoning.