|CO2 – The Silent Killer|
We’ve had a taste this week of our winter months ahead. As the mercury continues to dip, damaged or poorly maintained heating equipment may be used, cars may be warming up in the garage, and there may be a lack of ventilation in the home with windows closed for the winter or generators used when electricity is out. People don’t realize how dangerous these practices can be. Any fuel-burning heating equipment (fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters, space or portable heaters), portable generators and chimneys can produce carbon monoxide. Using a gas stove for heat can cause carbon monoxide (CO) fumes to fill the home. And a vehicle running inside a garage is a danger zone for poisonous carbon monoxide that can also fill the home.
Often called a silent killer, CO is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, and oil, burn incompletely. CO enters the body through breathing. CO poisoning can be confused with flu symptoms, food poisoning and other illnesses. Some symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, light headedness or headaches.
Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning, but infants, pregnant women and people with physical conditions that limit their ability to use oxygen, such as emphysema, asthma or heart disease, can be more severely affected by low concentrations of CO than healthy adults. High levels of CO can be fatal for anyone, causing death within minutes.
The goal of the Titusville Fire and Emergency Services Departmentis to reduce the number of carbon monoxide incidents in Titusville. Install CO alarms inside your home to provide early warning of accumulating CO. Have your heating equipment inspected by a professional every year before cold weather sets in. Always remove a vehicle from the garage when it is running. Never use a range or oven to heat the home. Portable generators should be operated in well ventilated locations, outdoors away from all doors, windows and vent openings.
Titusville Fire and Emergency Services Departmentwants everyone to be warm and safe this winter. Make sure your home has carbon monoxide alarms. If you can’t afford them, see if you qualify for our free carbon monoxide/smoke detector alarms program by contacting our department at 321-383-5708 and speak with Life Safety Specialist Reggie Belle.