Carbon monoxide poisoning can be particularly dangerous because it is a colorless and odorless gas. It is preventable once you know the warning signs and how to detect carbon monoxide buildup before it becomes too dangerous.
Carbon monoxide can be potentially fatal when someone is exposed to concentrated amounts of it. It is usually produced when someone burns fuel in vehicles, boats, stoves, grills, generators and furnaces.
Improper generator use is the leading cause of carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators should never be used indoors and should be placed away from the home and any windows and doors.
According to the CDC, symptoms can include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. The poison can be deadly as it builds up on the bloodstream when someone breathes it in.
The best way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning is to install working carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home and in the garage. In fact, it’s the law in Vermont that all residential rental properties and homes when they are sold have properly working carbon monoxide detectors as well as smoke detectors.
In addition to not using a generator in your home, be particularly alert for the smell of gas in your home, making sure gas appliances are being serviced each year, never patching a vent pipe, never using a gas stove to heat a space, not sitting in an idling car and not burning charcoal indoors.
If you suspect you or someone you know is experiencing any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, go outside immediately and get fresh air. To let out the fumes, open the doors and windows and turn off any gas appliances. And, of course, call 911 if you are not immediately better once you are outside.