Avoid Tragedy: Follow These Steps to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure

November 1, 2011

There have been several recent reports of possible carbon monoxide-related deaths in Enfield and around Connecticut. We extend our deepest sympathies to the victims’ families and friends.

At the same time, we must do all we can to prevent such needless tragedies, and I urge everyone in north-central Connecticut to review the following tips on how to avoid carbon monoxide exposure:

  • Do not operate snowblowers, gas-powered generators or other gas-powered equipment in enclosed spaces. Even with the garage door open, ventilation of carbon monoxide is not adequate.
  • Clear all vents that might be blocked because of snow. Do not use wood-burning stoves, pellet stoves, gas-powered washers or dryers or fireplaces if the exhaust vent or flue is blocked with snow.
  • Do not use charcoal grills or barbecue grills indoors or in garages.
  • Do not remain in vehicles if the exhaust pipes are blocked with snow. If you are stuck in a vehicle in the snow, manually clear the snow away from the exhaust pipe and open the vehicle window to allow fresh air in.
  • Make sure your CO detectors are installed and working properly.

Symptoms may include:

  • “Flu-like” symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness, confusion, or dizziness
  • If you believe that you or someone you know is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, immediately move the affected person to a fresh air environment, call 911 and seek medical attention immediately.

Please share these tips with your friends, co-workers and neighbors. In doing so, you could save someone’s life.