When temperatures drop, the potential for deadly poisoning from carbon monoxide (CO) gas rises. Since January and February are historically the months with the largest number of weather-related power outages, the number of deaths from CO poisoning tends to rise at this time as people use portable generators or space heaters to stay warm.
Here are some tips on preventing CO poisoning in the home:
- If you must use a generator, be sure it is kept outside away from windows. Never use a generator inside.
- Do not use a charcoal or gas grill inside for heating or cooking.
- Never use a gas stovetop or oven for heating.
- Be sure to open the fireplace damper prior to starting a fire, and keep it open until the ashes from the fire are cool.
- Service home heating systems and fireplaces annually.
- Install CO alarms outside bedrooms.
- Be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning, which includes dizziness, nausea, weakness, headache, sleepiness and confusion. If you experience any of these, go outside into the fresh air immediately and call 911.
Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, so you will usually not be aware of it unless an alarm sounds or you start to feel symptoms. If any of the symptoms disappear when you go outside, you could have carbon monoxide poisoning and should take the following actions:
- Do not re-enter the building or car when carbon monoxide is present. Stay outside in the fresh air.
- Keep still, which will help conserve oxygen in the blood (carbon monoxide replaces oxygen in the body, so your oxygen level may be low).
- Go to the nearest emergency room for treatment.
If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of an accident, our Texas personal injury attorneys have the experience and resources to help you through this difficult time and obtain just compensation for your injuries. Please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.