Last week, Savannah fire responded to a home where a mother and her children had symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Firefighters say they’re getting a lot of these kinds of calls now that we’re getting into colder winter months.
Approximately 50,000 people in the United States get carbon monoxide poisoning every year. It occurs when too much of the gas fills the air, replacing oxygen in your bloodstream.
If bad enough, it can lead to serious tissue damage or even death.
“It’s often called the silent killer because it is odorless, it is colorless, it’s tasteless, and you do not know it’s present unless one, an alarm goes off or, two, you’re starting to develop symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning,” said Battalion Chief Joseph Bandy with Savannah Fire Rescue.
Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, headaches, and confusion.
Carbon monoxide is produced by gas appliances such as space heaters, furnaces, charcoal grills, fireplaces, portable generators, and car engines.
“This time of year… we are closing up our homes, we’re trying to keep our homes warm, there’s less ventilation in the home, and the appliances that we are using to heat our homes, sometimes, natural gas appliances, if not properly vented, will create carbon monoxide in the home,” Bandy said.
If you have any of these appliances in your home, firefighters ask that you keep the area vented.
– Never fall asleep with a space heater on.
– Never heat your home with the stove.
– Never start your car in a closed garage.
– Never run a generator in a closed environment.
The top tip from fire officials is to install carbon monoxide detectors.
“Carbon monoxide detectors should be placed in every home, especially homes that use natural gas for any type of heating or cooking,” Bandy said.
These detectors can cost as little as $20 dollars and some can also detect smoke.