Red Cross stresses importance of carbon monoxide detectors

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Red Cross is encouraging Utahns to change batteries and test carbon monoxide detectors every six months like smoke detectors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, at least 420 people die in the U.S. from CO poisoning and more than 100,000 people in the U.S. visit emergency departments due to accidental CO poisoning.

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In Utah just this month two families have suffered from CO poisoning while in their homes. Fire crews responded to a family home in Ogden, after all four members of the family reportedly began experiencing dizziness, nausea, and headaches — hallmark symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Days after, a family was hospitalized after officials said their cabin was found full of carbon monoxide in Duchesne County.

Ogden Fire officials remind Utahns of threat posed by Carbon Monoxide. “Carbon monoxide is a serious threat and can cause serious illness and even death. CO is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and highly toxic. Ensure your home is equipped with a functioning CO detector to safeguard against potential risks.”

While the Red Cross of Utah does not provide free carbon monoxide detectors, they can install them. Volunteers can help install the detectors and will also check the batteries in existing smoke detectors while in the home.

The Red Cross reports that residents who can’t afford smoke alarms or who are physically unable to install one or check and replace batteries should contact the Red Cross of Utah. They may be able to help. More information is available at SoundTheAlarm.org/Utah.

The Red Cross recommends installing carbon monoxide detectors in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas. They also advise the following:

  • If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.

  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace, or any partially enclosed area.

Common Symptoms of CO poisoning should be treated immediately and include:

  • Headache

  • Dizziness

  • Weakness

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Chest pain

  • Confusion

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