Dangers of carbon monoxide exposure - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Dangers of carbon monoxide exposure

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KHQ.com - Hunkering down at home and turning on the heat can be a way to get comfortable when temperatures drop during the winter season, but keeping warm can have dangerous and potentially deadly consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control, between 1999–2010, 5,149 people died from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning in the United States. That's an average of 430 deaths per year. The Washington Poison Center (WAPC) received 308 calls in 2013 on carbon monoxide poisonings; 121 of those cases were managed in a healthcare facility.

Carbon monoxide is found in fumes produced by furnaces, vehicles, portable generators, stoves, lanterns, gas ranges, or burning charcoal or wood. In enclosed spaces, carbon monoxide can build up and extended exposure can lead to sickness followed by death.

KHQ spoke with Joe Loera, a registered nurse with Providence Healthcare and he tells us more about how your body will react if you've been exposed to carbon monoxide and what you should do before it's too late in the video above.

The CDC listed these ways to avoid carbon monoxide exposure:

  1. Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
  2. Do install a battery-operated CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. If the detector sounds, leave your home immediately and call 911.
  3. Do seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous.
  4. Don't use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or outside less than 20 feet from a window, door, or vent.
  5. Don't run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.
  6. Don't burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn't vented.
  7. Don't heat your house with a gas oven.
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