• What is carbon monoxide poisoning?

    Updated:

    Three people are dead after a generator was left running inside a home in Shelby county. 

    >> RELATED: SCSO: 2 adults, 1 child found dead in their home; carbon monoxide to blame

    SCSO said the cause of death is believed to be Carbon Monoxide poisoning. 

    According to the Center for Disease Control, Carbon Monoxide, also known as CO, is produced any time you burn fuel in cars or trucks, gas ranges, etc.. 

    CO can build up in areas, inside and outside, poisoning people and animals who breathe it. 

    Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach and confusion. 


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    It can not be seen or smelled, and if exposed to long enough, it can be deadly. 

    More than 400 die each year from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to a fire, the CDC said. 

    Here is a list of what the CDC said to prevent CO poisoning in your home: 

    • Install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. Place your detector where it will wake you up if it alarms, such as outside your bedroom. Consider buying a detector with a digital readout. This detector can tell you the highest level of CO concentration in your home in addition to alarming. Replace your CO detector every five years.
    • Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
    • Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors.
    • If you smell an odor from your gas refrigerator have an expert service it. An odor from your gas refrigerator can mean it could be leaking CO.
    • When you buy gas equipment, buy only equipment carrying the seal of a national testing agency, such as Underwriters’ Laboratories.
    • Make sure your gas appliances are vented properly. Horizontal vent pipes for appliances, such as a water heater, should go up slightly as they go toward outdoors, as shown below. This prevents CO from leaking if the joints or pipes aren’t fitted tightly.
    • Have your chimney checked or cleaned every year. Chimneys can be blocked by debris. This can cause CO to build up inside your home or cabin.
    • Never patch a vent pipe with tape, gum, or something else. This kind of patch can make CO build up in your home, cabin, or camper.
    • Never use a gas range or oven for heating. Using a gas range or oven for heating can cause a build up of CO inside your home, cabin, or camper.
    • Never burn charcoal indoors. Burning charcoal – red, gray, black, or white – gives off CO.
    • Never use a portable gas camp stove indoors. Using a gas camp stove indoors can cause CO to build up inside your home, cabin, or camper.
    • Never use a generator inside your home, basement, or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent.
    • When using a generator, use a battery-powered or battery backup CO detector in your home.

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    What is carbon monoxide poisoning?