During Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness month this January, Town of North Hempstead (TONH) Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the town board warn residents of the dangers of CO and share ways to protect your family.
Known as the “invisible killer,” CO poses a great danger because it is odorless and invisible. Indications of possible CO poisoning include chronic headaches, nausea and shortness of breath, signs that can be confused with food poisoning or the flu. CO poisoning can occur when appliances that burn, such as furnaces, boilers and water heaters, are used improperly.
“It is important to learn the warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning,” said Bosworth. “Something as simple as installing a carbon monoxide detector can protect you and your family.”
In 2014, Bosworth and the town board unanimously approved the required use of digital carbon monoxide detectors in places of assembly (0-50 people) and public assembly (50 or more people). In 2016, the Department of State adopted a rule that requires CO alarms in all commercial buildings.
“If you suspect that you are experiencing CO poisoning, get fresh air immediately. Leave the home and call for assistance from a neighbor’s home,” said the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). “You could lose consciousness and die from CO poisoning if you stay in the home.”
The CPSC provided these safety tips:
• Have your home heating systems (including chimneys and vents) inspected and serviced annually by a trained service technician.
• Never use portable generators inside homes or garages, even if doors and windows are open. Use generators outside only, far away from the home.
• Open the fireplace damper before lighting a fire and keep it open until the ashes are cool. An open damper may help prevent build up of poisonous gases inside the home.
• Never use a gas range or oven for heating.
For more information, visit www.northhempsteadny.gov/coawareness or call 311 or 516-869-6311.