Reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning at home

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a dangerous condition that turns deadly for hundreds of families each year. The risk of poisoning goes up during the winter months, thanks to the use of space heaters and portable generators. By knowing the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and taking steps to reduce the risk of it happening in your home, you can prevent the need for emergency care and maybe even save lives. Here are some things you can do to keep your family safe.

Know the signs
Recognizing the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning can help you take fast action to get the emergency care needed. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can easily be confused with other conditions, but it is always best to err on the side of caution and get checked out if you have these symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Chest pain

If more than one family member is exhibiting these symptoms, it’s more likely to be caused by carbon monoxide poisoning than if only one member of your family is feeling sick. This could indicate the presence of carbon monoxide in your home.

Get a detector
Just as a smoke alarm can save you during a fire, a carbon monoxide alarm can save you when this dangerous gas is present. There should be alarms on each level of your house, particularly near bedrooms.

Because carbon monoxide is invisible and odorless, you won’t know it is there unless an alarm tells you. Your alarm can give the early warning you need to prevent symptoms from developing.

Be cautious with potential carbon monoxide sources
If you have gas appliances in your home, make sure trained professionals regularly service them. Never use portable, flameless chemical heaters or charcoal grills indoors. Use the extractor vent when you are using a gas stove.

If you have a fireplace, have the chimney cleaned annually, and make sure the flues are open any time you start a fire.

West Hills Hospital and Medical Center provides emergency care 24 hours per day, seven days per week, for all of your urgent medical needs. You can learn more about our emergency room and all of our hospital services in West Hills by calling (818) 676-4321.

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