Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas created when we burn fuels —gasoline, wood, charcoal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane.
Equipment and vehicles powered by internal combustion engines are a common source of carbon monoxide. Vehicles running in an attached garage or generators running inside a home or attached garage, can quickly produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
The dangers of CO depend on a number of variables, including the person’s health and activity level. Infants, pregnant women, and people with physical conditions that limit their body’s ability to use oxygen can be more severely affected by lower concentrations of CO than healthy adults would be.
A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time.
Low level CO poisoning can often be confused with flu symptoms, food poisoning, and other illnesses. Some symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, lightheadedness or headaches. When extremely high CO levels are present, confusion, incapacitation and loss of consciousness can occur within minutes.
Interconnected CO alarms offer the best protection; when one sounds, they all do. A licensed electrician can install hard-wired interconnected CO alarms, or homeowners can install wireless alarms, plug-in alarms, or battery operated alarms.
The Scottsboro Firefighter’s Association sells address signs like the one pictured here. These are available with your house number for $15 each. If you would like more information, contact Office Manager Brandy Fowler at 256-912-0537.Escaping from a fire