Carbon monoxide dangers, silent killer

Carbon monoxide dangers, silent killer

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - In the last month two families in south Georgia have been hospitalized due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Emergency medical responders are urging you to get CO detectors installed to protect yourself against the poisonous gas.

It's known as the "Silent Killer." Carbon monoxide is found in gas stoves, fireplaces and is emitted by your car, too much exposure can be deadly. It's responsible for over 400 deaths each year in the United States since 1999, in the last week a family of four in Ben Hill County were hospitalized from the poisonous gas.

Richard Roberts, a training supervisor with Dougherty County EMS, says one way to ensure your safety is to know the signs of danger.

Symptoms to look out for: chest pain, vomiting, confusion, headache and dizziness could all indicate that you or someone else has CO poisoning. Act quickly, turn off any appliances that may be emitting the gas and get outside. You should contact your technician to fix the problem and possibly emergency responders if needed.

"Just to be always be aware, especially if you are burning gas, and if its not burning clean...carbon monoxide is produced," Roberts said.

Georgia law says that all new one and two family homes including townhouses must have at least one CO detector.

It's a requirement homeowner Arthur Wright strongly stands behind. 

"Especially if they have kids," Wright said.  

He just remodeled his home and installed the detectors. Wright says it brings him a sense of comfort knowing it could save his life.  He believes by not having one you are putting yourself at risk. 

"It's a possibility that you probably won't even be awake before you will be overtaken by it," Wright continued. "So, I think it is very important for us to have both a smoke detector and carbon monoxide (detector)."

Some preventive measures to adopt include: regular maintenance on gas appliances, make sure they are in a well ventilated area, never use generators inside the home and always keep the chimney clean to avoid CO buildup. 

By investing in a carbon monoxide detector you are investing in your family's safety.

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