You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide (CO), but at high levels it can kill a person in minutes. That's why it's important to know how to prevent it, detect it, and protect yourself and your family from its effects. Your homeowners insurance can provide insurance protection for damage to your property, and injury to others.
Here are a few safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association:
· CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home; when one sounds, they all sound.
· Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
· Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
· If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it. If it still sounds, call the fire department.
· If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel arrives.
· If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if the garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.
· During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
· A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.
· Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO — only use outside.
What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. High levels of CO inhalation can cause loss of consciousness and death. Unless suspected, CO poisoning can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms mimic other illnesses. People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before ever experiencing symptoms.
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