Carbon monoxide poisoning kills several hundred Americans each year. Unfortunately, as temperatures drop, the potential for injury or death from carbon monoxide increases. Combustible heating systems, as well as common household appliances, all have the potential for causing carbon monoxide poisoning. Fortunately, some basic knowledge and preventive action can keep your family safe from carbon monoxide all year long.
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about carbon monoxide:
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can present a risk of illness or death.
Carbon monoxide, or CO, is in the fumes of burned fuel. Examples include car and truck exhaust, small engines, stoves, grills, fireplaces, furnaces, gas ranges, lanterns, and even hot water heaters. As the use of such devices increases in the winter, so does the potential for CO buildup indoors.
When people breathe in CO, it can make them sick. Since it is odorless and colorless, most people do not know they have CO poisoning until it builds up enough to cause symptoms. Most people describe CO poisoning as being “flu-like:”
People who are sleeping or drunk may be at a higher risk of death from CO poisoning, as they can die before they experience any symptoms. If you or a loved one was affected by carbon monoxide due to another’s negligence, contact our San Jose carbon monoxide poisoning attorneys to learn how we can help.
Anyone can die from CO poisoning, but certain people are more likely to experience early symptoms, such as infants, the elderly, people with chronic heart or lung disease, or anemia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning each year, and 20,000 reports to the nation’s emergency departments.
Fortunately, it is easy to prevent CO poisoning at home by following some simple measures.
Carbon monoxide poisoning may be more common in the home, but it can also occur due to the combustion of a car’s engine. To prevent vehicular carbon monoxide poisoning:
More deaths occur from carbon monoxide poisoning in January than any other time of the year, likely because of increased heat usage and bitterly cold temperatures. However, by observing some simple tips, you can help protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning this winter.