From Our 2014 Archives
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning Prevention
When power outages occur after severe weather (such as winter storms), using alternative sources of power can cause carbon monoxide (CO) to build up in a home and poison the people and animals inside.
Every year, at least 430 people die in the U. S. from accidental CO poisoning. Change the batteries in your CO detector every six months. If you don't have a battery-powered or battery back-up CO detector, buy one soon.
CO is found in fumes produced by portable generators, stoves, lanterns, and gas ranges, or by burning charcoal and wood. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned and can die from breathing CO.
How to Recognize CO Poisoning
The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. People who are sleeping or who have been drinking alcohol can die from CO poisoning before ever having symptoms.
CO poisoning is entirely preventable. You can protect yourself and your family by acting wisely in case of a power outage and learning the symptoms of CO poisoning.
For more information, please visit www.cdc.gov/co.
SOURCE: CDC, January 28, 2014