FOH December 2018 (posted January 16, 2019)
COLD WEATHER INCREASES RISK OF CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING
Stephanie Thiede, PHN
Langlade County Health Department
In 2016, 430 people in Wisconsin were taken to the emergency room with carbon monoxide poisoning. Exposures to carbon monoxide are highest in the winter months due to the increased use of furnaces, fireplaces and other heating equipment.
Here are some tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
Never use devices that burn gasoline, propane, or charcoal (i.e., generators, grills, camp stoves) in the home or any other enclosed space. These units should be kept in a well ventilated area and at least 20 feet away from doors, windows and vents.
Wisconsin State Law requires carbon monoxide detectors in all residences. Make sure you have a working detector on each floor, including the basement. They can be purchased at our local hardware and department stores.
Have your furnace, gas stove and fireplace inspected annually by a qualified professional to make sure they are in working order and properly vented to the outdoors.
Never keep cars, snowmobiles, lawn mowers and other motorized vehicles running in a garage or any enclosed space. If an engine is running, you must have a door open to the outside for proper ventilation.
At high levels, carbon monoxide can cause death within minutes. Symptoms of exposure to carbon monoxide include headaches, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, and confusion. If you suspect you may be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, or your detector sounds an alarm, head outside immediately for fresh air and call 911.
For more information about carbon monoxide, visit: