Trauma And Injury Prevention
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Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. Sources of carbon monoxide in the home include heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel, like a gas stove or fireplace.
Each year, thousands of people are treated at hospital emergency rooms for CO poisoning; unfortunately hundreds of people die (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Consumer Product Safety Commission).
CO alarms always have been and still are designed to alarm before potentially life-threatening levels of CO are reached.
It is warning you of a potentially deadly hazard. If your alarm is going off, do not try to find the source of the CO. Prompt medical attention is important if you are experiencing any symptoms of CO poisoning, take the following action:
A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time. Because CO is odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, people often don’t realize they are being exposed to this harmful poison. Initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever). Symptoms include:
High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including: