The threat of carbon monoxide poisoning increases in the winter.
With temperatures down to 25 degrees below zero in some parts of Wisconsin and most of the state experiencing wind chills of near minus-30, health officials are reminding everyone about the dangers of carbon monoxide.
“Any source of an open flame or burning of energy source like natural gas or wood … part of the exhaust is CO and if it’s not exhausted properly it can build up really quite rapidly in a home.” Dr. Henry Anderson is Chief Medical Officer in the state Health Department.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be emitted from poorly functioning or unvented furnaces or other gas powered home appliances. Anderson says “The easiest way to protect yourself and your family is with a carbon monoxide detector.” And … “Of course when you get a lot of snow … you could end up with the exhaust plugged up under a snow pile.”
Earlier this week several people in Janesville were found to have high levels of CO exposure due to a malfunctioning furnace. Officials are warning people to take precautions.
Symptoms of CO poisoning are flu-like and include headache, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea and mental confusion. High levels of exposure could be deadly. On February 1, a new law takes effect requiring carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in all one- and two-family dwellings.