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Sunday, January 22, 2023
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning Prevention


Potential Causes of Carbon Monoxide Poisonings

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Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning Prevention


Statistically, January is the month with the highest carbon monoxide poisonings within the United States.

To date, many first responders have participated in a number of carbon monoxide incidents within Sussex County during this current month of January 2023.  The Indian River Volunteer Fire Company has responded to the following incidents:

  • Monday, January 2, 2023 - Carbon Monoxide - Mariner's Cove; 

  • Wednesday, January 11, 2023 - Alarms - Winding Creek Village; and 

  • Wednesday, January 18, 2023 - Carbon Monoxide Alarm - Carillon Woods

CO poisoning is entirely preventable. Protect yourself and your family by learning the symptoms of CO poisoning and how to prevent it.

When winter temperatures plummet and home heating systems run for hours the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning increases.  Every year, more than 100,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency department each year due to accidental CO poisoning and annually 420 persons die. There are steps you can take to help protect yourself and your household from CO poisoning.

CO is found in fumes produced by furnaces, kerosene heaters, vehicles “warmed up” in garages, stoves, lanterns, and gas ranges, portable generators, or by burning charcoal and wood. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned and can die from breathing CO.

How to Recognize CO Poisoning

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. People who are sleeping or who have been drinking alcohol can die from CO poisoning before ever having symptoms.

CO Poisoning Prevention Tips:

  • Check or change the batteries in your CO detector every six months. If you don’t have a battery-powered or battery back-up CO detector, buy one soon.

  • Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.

  • Keep vents and flues free of debris. Debris can block ventilation lines.

  • Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.

  • Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.

  • Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.

  • Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open.

If you suspect CO poisoning, call 9-1-1 immediately.

CO poisoning is entirely preventable! You can protect yourself and your family by learning the symptoms of CO poisoning and how to prevent it.

Source:  Center for Disease Control and Prevention