January Is The Deadliest Month For Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
According to a new study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first month of the year is the worst for carbon monoxide poisoning. At least two people die each day from carbon-monoxide poisoning in the month of January.
It should come as no surprise that carbon monoxide deaths are the highest in winter (with December being the second highest month). Cold weather increases the use of gas-powered furnaces, portable generators, charcoal briquettes and propane stoves/grills during power outages.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning (headaches, nausea, dizziness or confusion) can often be mistaken for the flu or fatigue.
Safety tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
- Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal-burning appliance inspected and serviced by a qualified technician every year.
- Install battery-operated CO detectors on every level of your home.
- Don’t use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside the home, basement, garage or outside the home near a window.
- Don’t burn anything in an unvented stove or fireplace.
- Don’t let a vehicle idle inside a garage attached to a house, even if the garage door is left open.
- Don’t heat a house with a gas oven.
If a CO detector sounds, leave your home immediately and call 911 from outside. Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and if you or someone in your household is feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseated.