READYColorado Blog: Catch the Invisible Killer

Can you catch this invisible killer? Carbon Monoxide, or CO, is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death. Cooking and heating are the most common causes of Carbon Monoxide poisoning at home. Installing Carbon Monoxide detectors throughout your home is the best way to prevent poisoning from this silent killer.

The most common symptoms of moderate Carbon Monoxide poisoning include headache, nausea and drowsiness. Exposure to undetected high levels of Carbon Monoxide can be fatal.  Unless suspected, Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms mimic other illnesses so your best protection is prevention.

Protect your family by following these tips:

  • If you suspect Carbon Monoxide poisoning, immediately move all family members including pets to an area with fresh air.
  • Have your chimney checked every year. Debris accumulates and Carbon Monoxide may build up inside your home or cabin.
  • Make sure your Carbon Monoxide alarm is working by testing it routinely. One hundred and fifty people die each year from consumer product-related carbon monoxide.
  • Never run a car or truck in the garage with the garage door shut. Carbon Monoxide can build up quickly.
  • If using a generator during a power outage, run the generator outside and away from windows to avoid Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
  • When vacationing, check to see that Carbon Monoxide detectors are installed close to sleeping areas throughout the home or condo.
  • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.

Information Sources: 

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Photo from CDC website