As temperatures drop, you turn on the heat to keep your home warm. But the increased use of heating and fuel-burning appliances in winter means a higher risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
In the U.S., 150 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
Keep your family safe with these reminders:
Understand the risk
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas, which can make it deadly — you and your family could be exposed without knowing it. Common sources of the gas include wood and gas fireplaces, charcoal grills, vehicles, and gas-fired appliances.
Protect your home
Have a professional inspect your heating sources to make sure they are working correctly and have the proper ventilation. Never use a range or oven to heat your home. Don’t leave a vehicle’s engine running in the garage — even if the garage door is open. Carbon monoxide quickly can build up in this confined space.
Use a detector
Install at least one carbon monoxide detector in your home, and check it regularly to make sure the batteries are working. You should have detectors in the hallways outside sleeping areas.
Know the symptoms
Symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, and exhaustion. If you think you may have carbon monoxide poisoning, leave your house, get fresh air, and call 911 immediately. Stay out of your house until the fire department determines it is safe to re-enter.
For more information about carbon monoxide safety, visit www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/co/fswy17.shtm.