Here are tips from Safe Kids Worldwide to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning:
To decrease the risk of CO poisoning the following strategies are recommended:
Install a CO alarm inside your home at a central location outside every sleeping area.
- Place CO alarms at least 15 feet away from every fuel-burning appliance to reduce the number of nuisance alarms.
- Test alarms every month and replace them according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Make sure alarms can be heard, especially where individuals are sleeping, and be sure everyone in the family knows what to do if the alarm sounds.
- Have all gas, oil or coal burning appliances inspected by a technician every year to ensure they are working correctly and are properly ventilated.
- Never use a stove for heating.
- Never use a grill, generator or camping stove inside your home, garage or near a window.
- Never leave a car, SUV or motorcycle engine running inside a garage, even if the garage door is open.
- CO can accumulate anywhere in or around your boat; install a CO alarm on your motorboat.
- If your CO alarm goes off, follow these simple steps:
- Get everyone into fresh air immediately and call for help.
- If you're experiencing symptoms, call 911 for medical attention.
- If no one is experiencing symptoms, call a qualified professional to investigate possible CO buildup.
- A nationwide surveillance system found that the total hospital charges averaged more than $15,000 for individuals whose principal diagnosis was CO poisoning in 2005. This number does not include professional fees or other CO cases with a different principal diagnosis and therefore drastically underestimates the overall cost burden of CO-related hospitalizations.
- In the U.S., it is estimated that residential CO exposure-related morbidity costs approximately $180 million annually.
Laws and Regulations
- Twenty-five states have passed legislation requiring the use of CO detectors in the home.
- Texas and Tennessee have enacted laws that require the installation of CO detectors in certain childcare facilities.
- There is a correlation between cities with CO alarm ordinances and lower death rates from CO.
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