Carbon Monoxide the Silent Killer
You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels, it can kill a person in minutes. Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, etc. burn incompletely.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, hundreds of people die accidentally every year from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning as a result of improperly used or malfunctioning fuel burning appliances. Even more die from CO produced by idling cars.
The EPA says prevention is the key to avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning. Protect yourself with these tips:
- Have fuel-burning appliances, like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves, inspected by a trained professional at the beginning of every heating season.
- Install audible CO detectors; in homes, place them outside of each sleeping area.
- Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi or generator in an enclosed area, like a garage. Even if the door is open, the CO may not be properly ventilated.
- Do not idle a car inside a garage.
- Before using a fireplace, make sure the flue is open of proper ventilation.