Important Safety Tips to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a more common and deadly problem than you may think. Roughly 500 people die and 15,000 are sickened every year from it, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and nearly all could have been easily prevented. Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning. Infants, the elderly, people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems are more likely to get sick from CO.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that you can’t see or smell. In residential settings the most common sources of carbon monoxide poisoning are from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers, or cars left running in garages. CO poisoning is more common in winter months than any other time of year.
When exposed to carbon monoxide the initial symptoms are flu-like, but without a fever. They may include dull headache, weakness, dizziness and nausea. The symptoms of low-level carbon monoxide poisoning are so easily mistaken for those of the common cold, flu or exhaustion, that proper diagnosis can be delayed. Because of this, be sure to see your physician about persistent flu-like symptoms, chronic fatigue or generalized depression. When levels of CO are high, poisoning can result in vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision and loss of consciousness. If the exposure continues, the person may lose consciousness, experience a seizure or suffer respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.
How to Avoid Sources of Carbon Monoxide
Install Carbon Monoxide Alarms
What to Do If Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Has Occurred
We offer this information to assist you in making decisions that can help mitigate your risk. While we cannot address every possible scenario or guarantee these tips will work for you, our goal is to support your efforts to protect yourself and your family. For more information, please visit nationwide.com/privateclient or contact your Nationwide Private Client agent.