Carbon Monoxide Risks and Symptoms

You can’t smell it, see it or taste it, but it could be with you right now!

To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, have your heating equipment “tuned up” each year, preferably before the heating season begins. Your local gas or electricty company has highly trained professionals who can provide this service. The service technician should also check your chimney and vent pipes for blockage.

It is also a good idea to make sure your home is adequately ventilated, particularly if you have added insulation to your home, had major renovations done or have enclosed your heating system to increase living space.

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often confused with those of influenza, and the highest incidence of poisoning occurs during the flu season. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea, unclear thinking, shortness of breath, weakness, vision problems and loss of muscle control.

Here are a few basic steps you can take if you come across someone you suspect has CO poisoning.

Move the affected person to fresh air. Administer oxygen if available. Contact medical help. If the person is not breathing, perform artificial respiration as taught in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training until medical help arrives. Ventilate the area. Investigate the source of carbon monoxide and make repairs.

Finally install a carbon monoxide detector to warn of harmful gases that may be entering your home because of a blocked or damaged chimney or faulty heating system.

Originally posted 2016-04-12 12:28:09.