This will be the first COLD night in North Texas in a LONG time! If you are using your heater, or your fireplace for the first time in a long time, know that malfunctioning heaters and even fireplaces can cause a buildup of carbon monoxide (CO) in your home.
A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period, or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that is poisonous to breathe. Mild signs and symptoms of CO poisoning can include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and altered mental status.
Symptoms of severe CO poisoning include shortness of breath, headache, nausea, chest pain, irritability, altered mental status, loss of consciousness, coma, and death.
To stay safe from CO poisoning:
- Consider installing a CO detector in your home.
- Have fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys inspected by a professional every year before cold weather sets in.
- When using a fireplace, open the flue for adequate ventilation. Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Operate all gasoline-powered devices, such as gas-powered heaters outdoors and never bring them indoors.
- Be careful when using other alternate heating sources such as stoves or grills.