Disclaimer – I have a material and/or financial connection because I received a gift, sample of a product and/or compensation for consideration in preparing to write this content. All opinions stated within are my own.
This winter is starting with some intense weather for certain parts of the country. Between a rare January hurricane, tornadoes in the South, El Nino in the West and blizzards in the North it seems inevitable that at some point this season we’re going to have to deal with power outages. One of the greatest dangers during a power outage is the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning from attempting to heat your home or light it using alternative sources. Carbon monoxide is a danger to millions of people, and it’s the leading cause of unintentional poisoning across the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that carbon monoxide poisoning claims nearly 500 lives and causes more than 15,000 visits to hospital emergency departments annually. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. It is an odorless, colorless gas, so people don’t know when there’s an issue until they are already experiencing symptoms.
Here are some important tips for preventing carbon monoxide poisoning during a power outage or any time:
- Never run a generator inside a garage or outside near doors or windows. Be sure that the generator is not overloaded with could be a potential fire hazard.
- Don’t try to heat your home using an appliance such as your oven or a barbecue.
- If you’re using a wood burning fireplace, be sure the flue is open and keep a window open as well for additional ventilation.
- Check fresh air intakes to furnaces and chimney to be sure they’re not plugged by snow, leaves or bird nests. You should also check your dryer vent on a regular basis.
- Place carbon monoxide detectors that plug in to the wall, and have a battery back-up outside every bedroom and one on each floor, particularly near the furnace and laundry area. COX Homelife offers carbon monoxide monitoring in addition to water/flood monitoring and smoke/heat detection with battery and cellular network back-up.
- Recognize the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning which are nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, dizziness, blurred vision, headaches and fainting.