Maryland Winters May Bring Increased Risk of CO Dangers

The winter season in Maryland can present a number of risks, including an increased risk of carbon monoxide (CO) incidents. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas frequently referred to as the “silent killer” because prolonged exposure can lead to CO poisoning, which can be fatal. During the winter months, incidents involving carbon monoxide increase by 10 percent, so it is imperative residents across the state of MD understand how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, which can include installing CO detectors in your home. The following are additional ways to prevent a serious CO incident and stay safe this winter season: Have a qualified technician inspect fuel-burning equipment regularly. Also, be certain fuel-burning equipment vents properly to the outdoors. Keep chimneys, vents, and fresh air intakes clear of debris, and check for vent pipes that are rusted or have a leak or gap. Do not operate a lawn mower, automobile, barbeque grill, or another similar appliance in an enclosed area such as your home or garage. Check for visible signs of problems, such as soot or water collecting near a vent or burner or a high level of indoor humidity. Never attempt to heat a room with an oven,[…..]

How Residents Can Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a dangerous odorless and colorless gas that can cause sudden illness or death. This gas is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by cars, gas ranges, heating systems, and stoves. Any person or animal in an enclosed space, or semi-enclosed space, which lacks proper ventilation can be poisoned by breathing CO, as it can build up from any of the aforementioned sources. CO poisoning can unfortunately be hard to diagnose as the symptoms can be similar to other illnesses, but if you think you may be inhaling this dangerous gas, here are some of the more common symptoms to look out for: headache; dizziness; nausea; chest pain; vomiting; confusion; and loss of consciousness due to high levels of CO. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that annually more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized. These alarming statistics show how common CO poisoning can be, so knowing how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning can save you and your family’s life. The following are tips offered by the CDC to help you and your loved ones[…..]