Important Tips To Help Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
2011-12-02 · By Editor
As the weather turns colder, the City of Long Beach reminds residents to be safe when heating their homes, and to avoid unnecessary risks that can lead to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and possibly death.
Odorless and colorless, CO gas is produced from heaters, fireplaces, furnaces and many types of appliances and cooking devices, especially when they are malfunctioning or improperly used. Known as the “silent killer,” CO takes the lives of as many as 500 people each year, and sends more than 15,000 people to the Emergency Room.
The symptoms of low-level exposure include headache, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue, and can be mistaken for the flu.
To prevent CO exposure:
- Never use a natural gas oven to heat your home, even for a short time.
- Never use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home or garage.
- Never sleep in any room with an un-vented natural gas or kerosene space heater.
- Never run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your home.
- Never burn anything in a stove or fireplace that is not vented.
- Do have a qualified service technician inspect all your natural gas appliances.
- Do consider installing at least one battery operated CO detector in your home.
- Do seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous.
The Long Beach Gas and Oil Department encourages people to keep pilot lights lit throughout the year including the summer; however, for those who choose to turn off the pilots to their space heaters, they should schedule a free pilot lighting service before the first cold snap to avoid a long wait for this service. Each customer is allowed one free pilot lighting service call a year (second one is $25).
For more information, call 562.570.5700 or visit www.longbeach.gov/lbgo, click on Natural Gas and then Residential Services.