Cold weather increases risk of carbon monoxide poisoning
As the temperatures begin to cool and we enjoy the last days of fall, the Lincoln County Health Department wants to remind everyone of the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. “As we get ready for cooler weather, Lincoln County residents should make sure that their heat source and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order,” says Meghan Williams, Environmental Health Specialist, Lincoln County Health Department.
On average, carbon monoxide poisoning sends about 450 people per year to the emergency room in Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking Program. About 50% of all carbon monoxide poisoning occur in the home. These trips to the ER are preventable when people are prepared. However, Lincoln County Health Department reminds hunters and campers, to invest in a battery-powered CO detector for use in cabins, hunting shacks, tents, RV’s or when they may be camping.
The following tips will help you and your family stay warm and safe this winter season:
• Make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors. CO alarms should be mounted in a central location outside each sleeping area. CO alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and the sound of CO alarms. Both detectors can be purchased at most hardware stores.
• Have your furnace or wood-burning stove checked annually. Hire a professional to make sure yours is working properly and vents outside of the home.
• Never run a car in an enclosed space. If a vehicle is running, you must have a door open to the outside.
• Run generator a safe distance from the home. Never run a generator in the home or garage, or right next to windows or doors.
• Put a carbon monoxide detector in your camper, cabin or tent. With hunting season almost here, hunters and other campers are encouraged to put a battery-powered CO detector in their cabin, tent, RV or wherever they may be sleeping.
In every situation, prevent exposure and know the symptoms. Common signs of CO poisoning might include sleepiness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, headaches, dizziness, disorientation and weakness. At very high levels, it causes loss of consciousness and death. If you think you may be experiencing CO poisoning, or your detector sounds an alarm, head outside immediately for fresh air and call 911.
For more information about carbon monoxide, visit: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/air/co.htm
For more information about Lincoln County Health Department’s programs and services, visit lincolncountyhealthdepartment.com or like us on Facebook. Lincoln County Health Department is always working for a safer and healthier Lincoln County.