|Michael F. Easley
|Carmen Hooker Odom
For Release: IMMEDIATE
|Contact: Debbie Crane|
Public Health Officials Warning in Wake of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Check your furnace and have working CO detectors
RALEIGH ¬– Five people in Greensboro could have died this past weekend when a crack in their furnace’s heat exchanger allowed carbon monoxide (CO) to leak into their home. That close call is prompting public health officials to warn about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, especially during cold snaps.
“This kind of situation is preventable,” said Kay Sanford, public health epidemiologist in the Injury and Violence Prevention Branch of the state Division of Public Health. “You should get your furnace checked annually to make sure it is in good shape, and everyone should install CO detectors.”
The Greensboro home did not have a CO detector. Carbon monoxide detectors are available at hardware and home supply stores.
Sanford says cold weather also poses other potential CO problems, especially during power outages. “You should never use charcoal to cook or heat inside a home,” says Sanford. “And, you have to be really careful when using generators. They should never be put in an enclosed space like a garage, or near windows, since carbon monoxide may leak into the house. “
Sanford says CO poisonings have also occurred when people left their
cars heating up on cold winter mornings inside garages.
If you or a family member experience symptoms that you think could be from CO poisoning:
For more information on carbon monoxide, see the Environmental Protection Agency fact sheet, “Protect Your Family and Yourself from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning,” at www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/coftsht.html.
|Public Affairs Office
101 Blair Drive, Raleigh, NC 27603