The weather in Florida has turned cold quickly. Many families may not be prepared for the sudden blast of cold air from the north and will go to any means to keep their family warm. However, this does not mean you can fore go safety just to stay warm.
A family of six in Jacksonville was hospitalized overnight due to carbon monoxide poisoning. For whatever reason, they had a generator running in a back bedroom and 2 adults and 4 children ended up in the hospital. Their condition was not reported, but the carbon monoxide was so high that the first responders’ air quality monitors went off as soon as they stepped through the door.
The Environmental Protection Agency warns that gasoline-powered engines should NEVER be operated in the house or garage. All fuel-burning stoves, heaters, ranges, ovens, fireplaces and wood stoves should be inspected every year before using them. If you heat your home with a space heater that is not vented to the outside, you should not sleep in the same room with them and crack a window to allow fresh air to enter the home.
Carbon monoxide detectors are recommended, but do not eliminate the need to strictly follow the operating instructions of heating appliances.
Carbon Monoxide is the silent deadly killer. You can’t see it or smell it and before you know it, it’s too late. The symptoms include severe headaches, dizziness, nausea, mental confusion and fainting. If anyone in your family exhibits these symptoms, turn off the appliance, open the house and get everyone into the fresh air immediately, and get everyone to the ER immediately.
For more information on the dangers of carbon monoxide and prevention measures you should follow, visit the EPA website for an article titled “Protect Your Family and Yourself from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning“.