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How to Protect Your Family from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

There’s a really good reason why carbon monoxide is called the “silent killer.” In one weekend alone, there were multiple hospitalizations and deaths due to this deadly, invisible chemical.

The bodies of a family of four were discovered in their Pocatello, Idaho home. According to Bannock County Coroner, Kim Quick, Bill and Ross Parrish, 14-year old Keegan and 12-year old Liam appeared to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

They were all expected to attend a family gathering as well as church that Sunday. When no one could reach them, one of their family members went to their home to check things out. That’s when their bodies were discovered. It seems as though they’d gone off to bed the night before, and died in their sleep.

In New York, a manager of a restaurant died from the deadly poison over that same weekend. Multiple emergency workers responded to the scene. Seven of them were hospitalized, as well as 27 others.

And, in another case, seven victims in Ogunquit, Maine were rushed to local hospitals due to complaints of severe nausea and headaches. Emergency crews investigated the incident at the Falls Motel and discovered extremely high levels of carbon monoxide.

Then, there’s the Baltimore hotel incident, which was contributed to a carbon monoxide leak. This led to the hospitalization of nine people.

In 2013, within just two months, three different people died because of the deadly toxin. No one believes it to be a coincidence that these three incidents all took place in the very same N. Carolina motel room.

5 Tips to Detect Carbon Monoxide

Anyone can become a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. Therefore, it’s vitally important that you understand how this invisible executioner operates and the risks involved. Here are five tips to help you better understand carbon monoxide and it threats:

  1. Tasteless, Odorless, Colorless. This silent killer is undetectable by human senses if a leak exists.
  2. Leaks are 100% deadly. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, carbon monoxide leaks commonly come from running automobiles closed up in garages, vent-less gas space-heaters and furnaces with leaks. If you have a leak, be worried because it is deadly.
  3. It “smothers” your oxygen. Humans need to breathe in oxygen to live. Carbon monoxide essentially smothers the oxygen in the air, making it impossible for you to intake the amount you need. The result of this can be tissue damage, even death.
  4. Symptoms can be misleading. Carbon monoxide poisoning can resemble the flu. But, when lack of muscle control and mental confusion kick it, beware, because death is the next phase.
  5. The Silent Killer is detectable. Although it can’t be detected using human senses, a carbon monoxide alarm can spot it very quickly.

How to Protect Yourself from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, you can actually protect yourself and your family from becoming victims of carbon monoxide poisoning in your home using these tips:

  • Get your heating systems, chimneys and vents inspected and serviced annually.
  • Never, ever use portable generators inside homes, garages or any other dwellings.
  • Never, ever burn charcoal or use a charcoal grill inside homes, garages or other closed area.
  • Do not use a gas stove or oven to heat a room.
  • Always keep your fireplace damper open when using it or until all the ashes are cooled down.
  • Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:
    • Vomiting
    • Sleepiness
    • Confusion
    • Dizziness
    • Weakness
    •  Nausea
    • Headaches
    • Get carbon monoxide alarms installed within your home, outside every sleeping area. They should take batteries, and have battery backup sources.

The best action to take if you believe you have a carbon monoxide leak it to call 911 immediately after evacuating.

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