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Daily New Editorial – Carbon monoxide a silent killer

By Staff | Dec 13, 2007

Winter, while the season hasn’t officially started yet, is upon us and with it all of us are spending more time inside.

That’s typical for this time of year, but there is an invisible health hazard that many people might not realize is there.

Inside our nice and cozy homes there could be a killer lurking none of us even know is there.

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas, but there are ways to prevent its affects, or worse, carbon monoxide poisoning.

Here are a few tips from the Iowa Department of Public Health:

n Generators, grills, camp stoves or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices should never be used inside a home, basement, garage or camper–even outside near a window.

n Never use a gas range or gas stove to heat a home.

n Never use a charcoal grill, lantern or portable camping stove inside a home.

n Never run a generator, pressure washer or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage or other enclosed structure.

n Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer or any gasoline-powered engine right outside an open window, door or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.

n Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space like a garage.

n The IDPH also recommends having a carbon monoxide detector in your home, along with a smoke detector.

Exposure to this invisible gas can cause loss of consciousness and even death. The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. If you experience these symptoms, remove yourself from the house or garage and call your healthcare professional immediately.

This gas plays a deadly game because it’s colorless and odorless. It can accumulate rapidly in a home and cause sudden illness and death if inhaled.

So heed these precautions and fight back. Don’t become a victim of a problem that you can prevent.