Carbon monoxide: Tips you need to know - Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Carbon monoxide: Tips you need to know

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

The carbon monoxide scare that sent 40 Atlanta elementary school students to the hospital on Monday highlights an unseen but very real danger.  Carbon monoxide poisoning can come on suddenly, and it can be deadly.  

This time of year is peak season for these kinds of poisonings.  It's getting colder outside, and people are firing up their heating systems.  Carbon monoxide is a gas that is produced by fuel-burning furnaces, stoves, hot water heaters and fireplaces.  Even your vehicle can be a source of CO poisoning.  

Decatur Fire Marshal Stephanie Burton says there are some things you can do to make sure your family stays safe from the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning.  

She warns that one of the reasons it's so dangerous is because you can't see it, and you can't smell it.  Burton says when it hits you, you might start to feel nauseous, dizzy, lightheaded or even a little sleepy.  Some people might even lie down, but if they do, they may not wake up.  By the time you start feeling sick, Burton says you're already in danger.

If this happens to you or your family, it's a good idea to get in a ventilated space—preferably outside your home—and all the fire department.  They're happy to come and check to see if high levels of carbon monoxide are present in your home.

Burton also says you need a carbon monoxide detector.  In fact, you can get one that is also a smoke detector, and they last about seven years.  The combination smoke-CO detectors will run about $25, but Decatur and other fire departments will install them for free.  

Burton says a big source of CO poisoning is your home's heating system, so you should get a professional to check out and make sure it's vented and working properly.  Also, you should never warm your vehicle in a garage without first opening the door and backing out at least part of the way.

Because carbon monoxide is heavier than oxygen, it pools low—making it most dangerous for children and pets.

Experts recommend placing carbon monoxide detectors near your bedrooms because you spend most of your time at home sleeping.  It's also a good idea to put one next to your hot water heater, and remember that even things like space heaters can produce fumes.  If it goes off, get outside and call 911.  It could save your family.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Dine Out for Project Open Hand

    Dine Out for Project Open Hand

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:39 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:39:13 GMT
    Head out to the a participating restaurant to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Dining Out For Life.
    Head out to the a participating restaurant to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Dining Out For Life.
  • Fox 5 I-Team

    Cheap vs. Frugal

    Cheap vs. Frugal

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:15:25 GMT
    There is nothing wrong with saving a buck, but can you cross the line? There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal.
    There is nothing wrong with saving a buck, but can you cross the line? There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal.
  • Mountain Festival Brings Music, Dancing To Dahlonega Square

    Mountain Festival Brings Music, Dancing To Dahlonega Square

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:08 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:08:13 GMT
    The North Georgia town of Dahlonega is best-known for its gold. But this weekend, music will bring more than 50,000 people to the historic town square.
    The North Georgia town of Dahlonega is best-known for its gold. But this weekend, music will bring more than 50,000 people to the historic town square.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices