What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide, also known as CO, is called the “Invisible Killer” because it’s a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. More than 150 people in the U.S. die every year from accidental non-fire-related CO poisoning associated with consumer products, including generators. Other products include faulty, improperly used or incorrectly vented fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fireplaces.
Know the symptoms of CO poisoning
Because CO is odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, people may not know that they are being exposed. The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are like the flu (but without the fever).
- Shortness of breath
High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:
- Mental confusion
- Loss of muscular coordination
- Loss of consciousness
- Ultimately death
Keep your community informed about the dangers of carbon monoxide and portable generators.