Tip Tuesday: Carbon Monoxide Safety During the Winter Months

Katelyn SmrecanskySecurity Resources

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Carbon Monoxide Safety InfographicCarbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning can happen any time of the year but the risk is higher during the winter when doors and windows are kept shut while gas heaters, portable generators, fireplaces and other fuel appliances are in use. CO has no color, no odor and no taste. It can be a silent killer.

At least 439 people die of unintentional, nonfire-related carbon monoxide poisoning every year, new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show. People who suffer from CO poisoning often don’t recognize it’s happening because the most common symptoms are feeling dizzy, nausea, fatigue and headache all of which are common complaints. The highest rates of CO poisoning is naturally in the colder months with the lowest rates during the summer months. With proper preparation, you can help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your home.

• Have carbon monoxide detectors installed and monitored
o -Aim for at least one on every level of your home
o -Test monthly to make sure they are working properly
o -Change the batteries yearly
• Do not heat your home with a gas stove or oven
• Do not run your car in the garage
• Have your chimneys and fireplaces thoroughly inspected and cleaned to help remove any blockage
• Know the symptoms and inform your family
• Never use a portable generator inside your house, garage, basement etc.
o -Generators should be at least 20 feet from the house when in use
• Contact Secure Pacific at 1-877-837-4723 or visit https://www.securepacific.com/residential-security/environmental-monitoring/ to learn more about our carbon monoxide monitoring options.

If you or a family member feel any of these symptoms, remove all family members and pets from the home and contact the fire department immediately.