The Silent Killer: Reduce Carbon Monoxide Exposure
Carbon monoxide, considered "the silent killer", is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. It can be created when fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, methane, or wood do not burn properly. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, around 150 people die every year from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Often times, it is the result of faulty, improperly used or vented consumer products like furnaces, ranges, water heaters, room heaters, and engine-powered equipment, such as portable generators. However, there are precautions you can take to help protect yourself, your family and your employees from deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
Reduce the change of carbon monoxide exposure in your workplace by performing regular maintenance on equipment and appliances that can produce carbon monoxide. Consider switching from gasoline-powered equipment to equipment powered by electricity or batteries. Prohibit the use of gasoline-powered engines or tools in poorly ventilated areas.
To protect your home, install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home, including outside of all bedrooms. Consider having all fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys services annually by a professional. Use portable generators only in well-ventilated areas away from doors, windows, vents, and any other openings to prevent fumes from entering the home.
For additional carbon monoxide safety information, visit usfa.fema.gov or osha.gov