Poison in the Air: The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Protect Your Family

It's definitely important to install carbon-monoxide alarms outside bedrooms on each floor of your home and to make sure that your furnace and chimney are inspected and cleaned every year by a qualified technician. However, detecting the gas outdoors is obviously trickier. Here are some lesser-known ways to avoid exposure both indoors and out.

Focus on problematic products. Gasoline- and diesel-powered motors usually emit carbon monoxide, as can grills, hibachis, and propane stoves. Never use any of these indoors -- not even in the garage or basement. Having a fan or an open door or window won't clear the air. Be cautious with any generator. Buy a carbon-monoxide detector to use along with it, as well a 50-foot extension cord to keep the generator far from your home when it's in use. A soft breeze could blow the gas into your house through windows, doors, vents, or cracks, and you'd never know.

Always consider carbon monoxide. Your child may not tell you that she feels dizzy, weak, or confused -- the first signs of CO poisoning -- and she might simply faint. If she suddenly loses consciousness, take her outside (or out of the water) and into fresh air and seek medical attention immediately.

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