Today’s tip

Tips to keep you and your family safe from carbon monoxide exposure

Did you know that carbon monoxide (CO) incidents increase by more than 10 percent during winter months? Here are some important safety tips to prepare your home, garage or fish house against a buildup of this silent but deadly gas.

CO is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas and when inhaled, it enters the blood stream preventing proper absorption of oxygen, which can lead to illness and even death.  According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, municipal fire departments across the country respond to more than 60,000 CO incidents each year.

Typically, CO is created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil or methane don’t burn completely. Home heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel inadequately can be sources of carbon monoxide.

 “According to the Minnesota Poison Control Center, there are thousands of deaths each year as a result of carbon monoxide, making it the leading cause of death due to poisoning,” said Perry Ebner, Minneapolis Fire Marshall. “Additionally, our response to non-fire related CO incidents increase by 10 percent during the winter, so the time for prevention is now.”

Some of the symptoms of CO exposure are:

If you suspect CO exposure, leave the area immediately taking your pets with you and tell others to do the same. Once you are safely away from the area, call 911 to report the suspected CO incident.

Treatment for CO exposure is fresh air or oxygen. Severe exposure requires medical attention. Do not return to your home or building until the source of the problem is discovered and corrected.  

To prevent CO build up:

Read more about natural gas leaks and safety tips.

Published Jan 22, 2014