WASHINGTON (WDVM) — With winter here, most of us are shutting our windows and cranking up the heat, but did you know the lack of airflow in homes can increase your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carbon monoxide is a silent but deadly gas, responsible for hundreds of deaths each year.
It is more common during the winter and can be found in the air when you burn fuel in cars, stoves, fireplaces, and more. Experts say it can build up inside and silently poison people and animals who breathe it.
The CDC stated, “every year, at least 430 people die in the U.S. from accidental CO poisoning. Approximately 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency department each year due to accidental CO poisoning.”
Common symptoms include headaches, dizziness, chest pain, and more, but for those who are sleeping or intoxicated the CDC says you can die from carbon monoxide poisoning before the symptoms begin.
The CDC recommends these tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
- Install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home. Check or replace the detector’s battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. Place your detector where it will wake you up if it alarms, such as outside your bedroom.
- Consider buying a detector with a digital readout. This detector can tell you the highest level of CO concentration in your home in addition to alarming.
- Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors.