SCDHS Offers Tips to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, January is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month

CO is known as the "silent killer.” Symptoms can be flu-like: nausea, headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, sleepiness, weakness.

Print Email

Suffolk County, NY - January 18, 2017 - According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, more than 450 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 go to the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized. CO is known as the "silent killer.” It can prevent the body from getting oxygen. Symptoms can be flu-like: nausea, headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, sleepiness, weakness. In large amounts, CO can cause loss of consciousness, brain damage or death.

In February 2010, New York State enacted legislation requiring the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in homes throughout the state. CO detectors should be installed on the home’s lowest level.

Tips to help you avoid carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Never run generators in indoor spaces, such as garages, basements, porches, or sheds, or in partly-enclosed spaces such as carports or breezeways. Generators should be operated only outside, far from and downwind of buildings.
  • Never use a gas range or oven for warmth. It can cause a buildup of toxic carbon monoxide (CO) inside.
  • Never use a charcoal grill or a barbecue grill in your home or garage. It will cause a buildup of toxic CO.
  • Never start up any gasoline-powered engines (mowers, snow blowers, or other small motors) in enclosed spaces.
  • Never use a stove or fireplace unless it is properly installed and vented. Have it inspected annually.
  • Have oil and gas heat and hot water systems serviced annually.
  • Never run your car or truck or motorcycle inside a garage that is attached to a house or in a detached garage with the garage door shut; open the door to remove CO and other toxic gases in the exhaust.
  • If you suspect CO poisoning, get out of the building and into the fresh air, then call the fire department.
  • Call 911 if you or someone else is experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning.

Visit online for more in depth information on the hazards of CO.

Visit here for tips on avoiding CO poisoning in Spanish.