With the weather becoming colder, HSHS Medical Group is urging members of the community to be vigilant to protect themselves against carbon monoxide poisoning.  During this time of year, many turn on their heating systems and mistakenly warm their cars in garages, which can be fatal. 
The National Safety Council recommends you install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector in your home near your bedrooms.  A good rule of thumb is to check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall to ensure its effectiveness. The CDC offers these additional tips:

  • Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.

  • Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors.

  • Never use a generator inside your home, basement or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door or vent; fatal levels of carbon monoxide can be produced in just minutes.

  • If you have a chimney, have it checked and cleaned every year, and make sure your fireplace damper is open before lighting a fire and well after the fire is extinguished.

  • Make sure your gas appliances are vented properly.

  • Never use a gas oven for heating your home.

  • Never let your car run idle while in the garage.

  • Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Low to moderate carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms can include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness. High poisoning can include mental confusion, vomiting, loss of muscular coordination, and loss of consciousness.

To learn more about how to protect yourself and loved ones from carbon monoxide poisoning this winter, visit: www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/carbon-monoxide.aspx.

Media Contact

Lori Harlan

Divisional Director of Marketing
HSHS Medical Group
Office: (217) 321-9292
Cell: (217) 321-9292

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