LCHD provides carbon monoxide safety tips as temperatures get colder
For the Tomahawk Leader
LINCOLN COUNTY – The Lincoln County Health Department (LCHD) this week reminded the public to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning as the temperatures get colder.
“As we get ready for cooler weather, Lincoln County residents should make sure that their heat source and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order,” said Meghan Williams, LCHD Environmental Health Specialist.
According to the State of Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, Lincoln County sees more people in the emergency room for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning than the state of Wisconsin’s average.
“About 50% of all carbon monoxide poisoning occur in the home,” LCHD stated. “However, now is the time that many people will begin heading to their hunting shack, cabin, or RV in preparation for hunting season. Investing in a battery-powered CO detector for use in cabins, hunting shacks, tents, R’s or when camping can save lives.”
LCHD provided the following tips to stay safe this winter:
- Make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors. CO alarms should be mounted in a central location outside each sleeping area. CO alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms. Daylight savings time is a good time of year to replace batteries in your detector and push the “test” button to be sure it is working properly.
- Have your furnace or wood-burning stove checked annually. Hire a professional to make sure yours is working properly and vents outside of the home.
- Never run a car in an enclosed space. If a vehicle is running, leave a door open to the outside.
- Run generator a safe distance from the home. Never run a generator in the home or garage, or right next to windows or doors. Generators should be run a safe distance (at least 20 feet) from the home.
- Put a carbon monoxide detector in your camper, cabin or tent. With hunting season almost here, hunters and other campers are encouraged to put a battery-powered CO detector in their cabin, tent, RV or wherever they may be sleeping.
Common signs of CO poisoning might include sleepiness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, headaches, dizziness, disorientation and weakness. At very high levels, it causes loss of consciousness and death.
“If you think you may be experiencing CO poisoning, or your detector sounds an alarm, head outside immediately for fresh air and call 911,” LCHD stated. “Do not re-enter the building until it has been declared safe to do so. “
For more information about carbon monoxide, visit www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/air/co.htm.