(WIAT) — This week is National Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is extremely dangerous because it is clear, odorless and poisonous. Anytime there is a fire, CO is put into our atmosphere. Unfortunately, inside of your home, concentrated amounts of CO can be lethal. Basically any household appliance that doesn’t run on electricity produces CO.
Sharon Cooksey, Kidde Safety Expert said, “It weighs the same as air. And people are like, ‘OK, what does that mean?’ Well, here’s what it means to you. It means that it mixes throughout the home wherever it feels like. So, wherever air is, carbon monoxide can be there as well.”
This means that one room could have a lethal amount of CO, while the next room doesn’t. It’s scary to think you cannot see CO. But, there are warning signs to lookout for. If you have flu-like symptoms without the fever, that could mean CO poisoning. This includes symptoms like fatigue, nausea, headaches, dizziness, etc.
“Unfortunately, what happens a lot of times is people think ‘Oh I have the flu, I just need to go back to bed and sleep it off.’ But unfortunately, often times they are sleeping in the very environment that makes them sick. So that’s why carbon monoxide alarms are so important,” Cooksey said.
The good thing about the majority of carbon monoxide detectors is that they have a 10-year battery. “In Alabama, in new construction or renovation, a carbon monoxide alarm is required outside of sleeping areas. But, we want you to wake up,” Cooksey said. That’s why you should have a CO detector in each bedroom or at least on every floor.
For more information on the warning signs and how to protect yourself, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm