Protect your family from carbon monoxide this winter

"As colder weather arrives, we start seeing more carbon monoxide poisonings", said Sharon Nelson, Monroe County health officer.

Carbon monoxide poisoning sends about 500 people per year to the emergency room in Wisconsin, according to data from the Wisconsin Environmental Public Health tracking program. "National Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Week will help provide families with the information they need to know and encourage the installation of detectors to safeguard against this unsafe 'silent killer'". People can be exposed to CO when charcoal, gas, oil or wood are burned in poorly ventilated areas.

About 50% of all CO Poisonings occur in the home. Other places include cars, cabins and tents. At very high levels, it causes loss of consciousness and death. Anyone who suspects experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning or hears a detector sound an alarm is urged to head outside immediately for fresh air and call 911.

In condominiums and apartment buildings with a service room with a fuel-fired appliance, CO alarms must be installed in the service room and outside all sleeping areas in residences above, below and beside the service room. CO alarms are not replacements for smoke alarms. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and the sound of CO alarms.

Williams also says the best advice she can give is to make sure that you have a working Carbon dioxide detector in your home. If a auto, snowmobile, generator or lawn mower is running, you must have a door open to the outside.

Generators should be run at a safe distance (at least 20 feet) from the home. "Also, if they have a CO detector in their house and that's going off, that's an indicator as well".

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