As the winter chill sets in and furnaces run longer, state health officials are warning Wisconsinites to be wary of carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless and odorless gas that is most dangerous when it’s allowed to build up. State Environmental Health director Chuck Warzecha says the greatest risk is usually at home, which accounts for more than half of the CO poisonings reported each year.
Warzecha says common sources of the gas include malfunctioning furnaces, blocked chimneys, or portable generators used indoors without properly venting the area.
Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, fatigue, and nausea, which can result in death if you get to the point of passing out.
Warzecha says the easiest way to safeguard against the danger is to have a working CO detector in your home. Warzecha says they are the only way to be alerted to a buildup, other than starting to feel sick.
CO detectors are required by state law in all single and two-family dwellings.
If an alarm sounds, Warzecha says you should get out of the home immediately and call 911.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:11)