Taking on the silent killer: Protect your family from carbon monoxide

By: Lisa McDivitt Email
By: Lisa McDivitt Email

Each year, more than 500 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning, and more than 15,000 go to the hospital for treatment. So what can you do to keep your family safe?

It's called the "Silent Killer” because carbon monoxide is invisible and odorless.

One way to help keep you and your family safe? Install a detector.

Colorado is one of 25 states that now require carbon monoxide alarms in all new homes, and existing homes that are up for sale.

Carbon monoxide is produced anytime a fuel burns. This includes wood stoves, automobile furnaces, water heaters, outdoor grills, campfires and automobiles.

As fall sets in and winter approaches, you'll start turning on more heat sources, and this increases the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning through leaks in your appliances or poor ventilation.

So, how do you keep things safe around your house?

First, make sure all of your appliances are maintained annually. Keep all ventilation clear of snow and debris. Never use charcoal or gas grills or generators indoors or close to your home.

Also, be aware of what the symptoms of poisoning are. They include dizziness, restlessness, severe headaches, fatigue and fainting.

Finally, one of the most important things you can do is install carbon monoxide alarms around your house.

They look like smoke alarms, and they run about $30 to $40.

Make sure you get one that is UL listed and that it meets the proper safety standards. Experts recommend that the detectors be installed near every sleeping area and on each level of the house.

Right now, 11 News is giving you the chance to win a Kidde Carbon Monoxide Detector. All you have to do is take a short quiz by clicking on the 11 Cares Quiz on the right-hand side of the page, and you'll be entered to win.

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