Tips to protect yourself from CO poisoning

MOUNT MORRIS – Every year, hundreds of people die and thousands are injured from unsuspected exposure to an odorless, colorless gas — carbon monoxide, or CO.

Studies by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that, while people recognize CO gas is poisonous, they perceive CO as less dangerous than other household hazards.

CO poisoning is most prevalent when furnaces are turned back on to fight cold winter temperatures, but also commonly occur after summer and winter storms and accompanying power outages, when people tend to rely on portable generators for electricity.

Here are some simple steps to protect yourselves and your family:

n Install battery-operated CO detectors near every sleeping area in your home.

n Check CO detectors regularly to be sure they are functioning properly.

n Have gas or oil furnaces inspected by a qualified professional every year.

n Never use a generator inside the home or garage, even if doors and windows are open.

n Only use generators and power washers outside, more than 20 feet away from the home, doors, and windows.

n Never use a charcoal grill inside the home.

For more information about Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and how to prevent it, call the Livingston County Department of Health, Center for Environmental Health at (585) 243-7280.

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