Additionally products and equipment powered by internal combustion engines such as portable generators, cars, lawn mowers, and power washers also produce CO. A properly installed carbon monoxide detector is essential in all poorly ventilated areas to detect the presence of CO.
Because CO is odorless, colorless; undetectable it is essential to install CO sensors in any areas where ventilation may not be sufficient to dispel the noxious fumes. Victims may not know that they are being exposed but the danger is still high and must be vigilantly guarded against.
The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever). They include:
- Shortness of breath
High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:
- Mental confusion
- Loss of muscular coordination
- Loss of consciousness
What to do if a carbon monoxide alarm sounds:
If the alarm signal sounds do not try to find the source of the CO:
· Immediately move outside to fresh air.
· Call 911.
· After calling 911, do a head count to check that all persons are accounted for. DO NOT reenter the premises until the fire department has given you permission.
· If the source of the CO is determined to be a malfunctioning appliance, DO NOT operate that appliance until it has been properly serviced by trained personnel.
Never ignore an alarming CO alarm! It is warning you of a potentially deadly hazard
If you think you have carbon monoxide poisoning: Don't ignore the symptoms, especially if more than one person is feeling ill. If you think you have carbon monoxide poisoning, leave the building and get fresh air immediately. Call 911 immediately to report the emergency and be sure to tell the dispatcher that you suspect a CO poisoning.