ANSI Z308.1-2015 Standard Minimum Requirements  Workplace First Aid Kits and Supplies - Buy new ANSI Kits
ANSI Z308.1-2015 Standard Minimum Requirements Workplace First Aid Kits and Supplies - Buy new ANSI Kits

Avoid the “Invisible Killer”

Breathe easy this winter and avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

CO is called the “Invisible Killer” because it's a colorless, odorless, and poisonous gas. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), more than 150 people in the United States die every year from accidental nonfire-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.safety_tips_co_alarms.1200x900

Protect your family from CO poisoning with these USFA tips:

  • Install and maintain CO alarms in a central location outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of your home to provide early warning of CO.
  • Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, and vents.
  • Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.

Home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season. This is due in part to an increase in cooking and heating fires. Holiday decorations and winter storms that can interrupt electrical service and cause people to turn to alternative heating sources also contribute to the increased risk of fire in winter. Winter fires can be prevented! The following video can help you maintain a fire-safe home this winter season.

Learn the symptoms of CO poisoning and other CO safety information on the USFA Carbon Monoxide Safety page.

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 Unites States die every year from accidental nonfire-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. Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission

Know the symptoms of CO poisoning

Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission

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 similar to the flu (but without the fever). They include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:

  • Mental confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of muscular coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Ultimately death
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