Protecting your home from the ‘silent killer’ - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Protecting your home from the ‘silent killer’

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GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

After the recent carbon monoxide scares this week, emergency responders want to make sure your family is safe from the "silent killer."

"It's the silent killer. You can't see it, you can't smell it and you don't know it's there," said Keith Watts, Gastonia Fire Department.

According to the United State Consumer Product Safety Commission , "On average, about 170 people in the United States die every year from CO produced by non-automotive consumer products. These products include malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, ranges, water heaters and room heaters."

The Safety Commission also points out that the initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu. They include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:

  • Mental confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of muscular coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Ultimately death

Local fire and rescue teams tell WBTV every home should have several carbon monoxide detectors installed.

"You need to have one on every floor. Carbon monoxide is the silent killer. It will sneak up on you and you won't know it's there if you don't have the alarm," Watts said.

Health officials also recommend you have your appliances installed by qualified professionals.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends having your heating system professionally inspected and serviced annually to ensure proper operation.

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