Our View: Dangers of carbon monoxide

Published 6:37 pm Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A few weeks ago, eight people in Valley were hospitalized due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

A teenage family member passed out and others started not feeling well. As it turns out, calling 911 was a life-saving decision.

All eight were experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can often cause headaches, dizziness, vomiting and nausea.

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Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas you cannot see or smell, and if you breathe in enough of it you may become unconscious or die.

A lot of times people feel like they are tired or need to lay down.

Others describe the symptoms as flu-like.

When something like this happens so close to home, it sort of opens everyone’s eyes up.

Thankfully, no one was seriously ill after the incident in Valley, but it obviously could’ve ended up much worse.

This is a good time for everyone — especially families with gas appliances in the home — to double check everything for safety.

Typically, unsafe levels of carbon monoxide are caused by using poorly maintained or unvented heating equipment, running vehicles in enclosed spacing, improperly vented gas appliances or using a gas stove, grill or oven to heat a home.

According to the CDC, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires each year.

Another 20,000 visit the emergency room and 4,000 are hospitalized.

The easiest ways to avoid this fate are to install a battery operated CO detector in your home and to replace the batteries each time you change your clocks.

It’s also important to have your gas, oil and coal burning appliances services by a qualified technician each year. For more tips and more information on avoiding CO poisoning, visit www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm.